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Melissa | Patient Spotlight

Starting over is scary; there is no doubt about it. Challenging yourself to overcome adversity and pull yourself up is no small feat, but for Melissa, it was a challenge she was ready to face.


In November of 2018, Melissa had a stroke that put her in the hospital for three weeks. When she left the hospital in December, she knew immediately that things were going to be different. “I had to relearn how to do everything again. I couldn’t walk or talk right; I had no control processing different things. Walking up and down the stairs, standing and sitting, really everything,” Mellisa said.

Melissa’s recovery journey started at a different PT clinic. Over the next few years, Melissa got to the point where she could walk without a walker, but she had to think about every motion.

“Nothing was second nature. It was like going back to being a toddler because I had to learn everything all over again.”

Melissa’s fear was that she would be in a situation where she wouldn’t be fully independent. Whether it be tending her land or recovering from a fall, Melissa wanted to have control of her life and feel unrestricted. In May of this year, Melissa saw an advertisement in the newspaper for WPT’s “If You’re 50+, You Need Muscles!” Workshop.


“I saw the ad in the paper and I knew I had to go. I talked to my Doctor and they thought it was a great idea. My husband and I came to the workshop and went through the cycles. One of them was to get down on the floor and then get back up. I realized I couldn’t do it. I thought my knees would break.”


But instead of taking this as a defeat, Melissa took it as a challenge. She inquired about physical therapy and after her evaluation, Melissa got right to work. Together, Tyra and Melissa focused on confidence. This included walking and balance tasks as well as generalized strength and mobility work. They gradually made the tasks more difficult by incorporating different obstacles, cognitive exercises, and surface types. As she was building confidence, Tyra and Melissa started to incorporate recovering from a fall and getting up from the ground safely.


“Tyra found things in places where I didn't know I had problems. She found these problems and directed me in the right direction to get better. It was just incredible.”


Today and for the first time in years, Mellissa got onto the ground and stood up unassisted; an astonishing feat that she had deemed impossible just a few short months ago. With positivity and a results-driven attitude, Mellissa was able to achieve her goal.


Story by Evan Davidson

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