By Evan Davidson
“I have always been an active person. It’s hard enough as it is getting old, but old and inactive is a killer”.
These are the words of Ken, a patient at WPT. Ken has been a patient of ours for nine months and after following his story since last November, I knew I had to join him for a session of PT and fully understand how he got where he is now. Ken’s is a miraculous story about sickness, health, and the importance of maintaining hope.
On March 22nd, 2021, Ken was admitted into intensive care for COVID double pneumonia. During his time in intensive care, Ken suffered internal hemorrhaging which led to emergency surgery and being placed on both a ventilator for nine days and dialysis for two months. Things were looking extremely grim.
“I don’t really remember the time in the hospital but while I was on the ventilator, my daughter, who studies music and well being, would sing to me over the phone”, Ken told me. “A nurse would hold the FaceTime up to my face and she would sing to me.”
Ken would go onto have a few more complications including sepsis, infections, and multiple surgeries over the course of four months. But in July of 2021, Through nothing short of a miracle, Ken was admitted into impatient rehab and was ready to start his recovery journey.
“I didn’t think I was going to walk ever again,” Ken Said. “I had drop foot in both feet. I thought I would be confined to a bed for the rest of my life”.
With the cards stacked against him and a challenging road ahead, Ken did not back down; Ken chose to fight. After just a few months in impatient physical therapy, he was able to stand with a walker and began taking his first steps in 6 months. Ken was released from impatient care in October and was able to go home for the first time since he got Covid. Though mobile, this was not enough for Ken, this was just the beginning of his journey.
“I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to function like a human being. I felt weak and I was not ready to keep trying to get better”. During his time at the hospital, Ken lost 75 pounds and was lacking the strength he needed to resume what he considered a normal life. This is when Ken decided to call WPT.
Looking at Ken’s situation it was easy to know that this was not going to be a task taken lightly. He had substantial goals and a laundry list of reasons why achieving those goals would prove challenging; but we were up for that challenge.
Before every evaluation we do at WPT, we have patients fill out intake paperwork. One of the questions on the paperwork is to write down your goals for PT. On his intake paperwork, Ken wrote that he wanted to be able to play golf again. Golf had always been an interest of his and before COVID, he would play 3-4 times a week. Though it seems simple on the surface, when you really break down the mechanics of golfing, it requires a lot of coordination. There is a significant need for good balance and strength because standing is one thing, but swinging a weighted club while standing is a whole other beast. There is a level of strength that Ken needs to feel comfortable golfing. This is why during his care at WPT, Ken did Rotational movements, strength building for pelvis control, dynamic activities on uneven surfaces like grass, hills, and pebbles. He did pivot steps and worked on control of left foot that has more weakness.
In November of 2021, Ken walked into Wonsettler Physical Therapy with Braces on his legs and a walker in his hands. Today Ken left Wonsettler Physical Therapy without braces, without a walker, and with the same results driven attitude that is going to push him to accomplish all the new goals he has set for himself. This is the story of a man who never gave up, even when the odds were stacked against him and we could not be more proud of Ken and his journey.