"My whole world changed. I can age with dignity now." - Sandy Stacer, Advanced PT Davison Patient
Hopeful to be pain free again, 84-year-old Sandy Stacer underwent a total knee replacement in June 2020. Being very active, she anticipated she would be back on her feet, playing with her grandchildren in no time. But a complication led to a tough decision. Her doctor suggested a second procedure because her recovery progress had slowed, and her flexibility was not improving. Sandy was worried the procedure would be too taxing, so she decided against it. Faced with the possibility of never getting back her full range of motion, Sandy began searching for options. A friend suggested Aquatic Therapy at Advanced Physical Therapy Center. Aquatic Therapy is available at Advanced PT Davison and Clarkston. The reduction of gravitational forces in the pool would allow Sandy to stand and do gait training and strengthening exercises without causing further damage to her healing joint and muscles. The water would also provide resistance and decreased pain sensitivity. Sandy described it as her “Hail Mary” and the next day, set up an evaluation with Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT.
Sandy was determined but had one more hurdle to face. She was afraid of the water! Luckily, Advanced PT’s aquatic therapists are hands on and happy to get in the water with every patient for comfort and safety. Sandy’s fear was eased a bit and the hard work began.
Just two weeks into Aquatic Therapy, Sandy checked in with her doctor. Progress! Her range of motion had improved! She was almost back to a functional level. Caitlin and Sandy would not stop there. Their work continued at the Advanced PT pool where Sandy revealed, “I love the warm water…the atmosphere here is great. Everyone is so upbeat. I look forward to therapy.”
Sandy began her journey unable to play with her grandchildren, unable to get up and down from a chair without help, and unable to go up and down stairs. “It was very depressing,” Sandy recalled. Caitlin set a goal to give Sandy her life back and make sure she could do the things she wanted to do, again. Sandy says, “Caitlin has a way of convincing you to work harder; she’s very innovative.” The hard work paid off. Sandy is back, playing with her grandchildren, enjoying life, aging with dignity. And she did it without going back under anesthesia for another painful procedure.
Sandy says she tells everyone, “I recommend Advanced PT because the therapists are excellent and because of the outcomes!”
As a side note, Aquatic Therapy can be done 4-6 weeks post-surgery, once the incision is healed and your doctor agrees it can be submerged.
Back in the Spotlight With Help from Advanced PT
Addie Latimer's Story
“My Mom and I didn’t think I’d dance again. But coming here and using BFR, now I’m back and better than ever!” – Addie Latimer, 12-Year-Old Advanced Patient
12-year-old Addison Latimer, or Addie as she’s called, bounces into Advanced PT, fresh from school. She hops on an exercise bike and begins to pedal. You’d never know, just 2 months earlier, a major injury left her unable to walk without crutches. Richelle, Addie’s Mom, shares what happened during what she describes as a goof-off night at dance class: “She did a kick and hyper-extended her left knee. Her kneecap popped out and popped right back in.” But the action shaved off a piece of cartilage, leaving her unable to bend her knee. On December 30th, Addie had surgery. The surgeon had hoped to put the cartilage back in place, but it just wasn’t possible. She’d be placed on a waiting list for donor cartilage and another repair surgery down the road.
Reality began to set in. Addie could barely walk, and she certainly couldn’t do one of her most favorite things in the world: DANCE! The orthopedic surgeon recommended physical therapy to help strengthen Addie’s leg and get her walking again. The Latimers didn’t know what to expect, but they had hope after hearing a friend had gotten back to dance after PT. Addie took the challenge head-on, knowing a physical therapist had the expertise to help her reach her long-term goal: to dance again.
Richelle recalls the first visits were rough, saying “the muscle loss was shocking. She couldn’t lift her leg.” Addie started with traditional therapy techniques. Then, moved on to Blood Flow Restriction Training or BFR. BFR is a rehabilitation process of performing exercises while reducing the blood supply to certain muscles using a cuff, similar to a blood pressure cuff. It rebuilds muscle and restores strength quicker. It’s a technique perfect for post-surgical patients. Richelle read about BFR, checked with her doctor, and decided it would be a good thing for Addie to try.
Addie would put a BFR cuff around her leg for the first time on a Friday afternoon. She was a little hesitant, saying “it hurt a little bit and then I got used to it and it was fine.” After a tiring session, Addie and her mom went home. Saturday morning, Richelle caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. It was Addie. After one BFR session, Addie had ditched the crutches and was walking across the family room. Richelle couldn’t believe it!
After several more weeks of therapy, fast forward to February 8th. That day, a little over 5 weeks post-surgery, Addie danced in a competition! Addie continues to improve and dance every day, and with a smile says, “I was happy to do PT. They know what they’re doing. It’s not just for old people. It really does help you. It’s cool to come and get better so quickly.”
Angels at Advanced PT
Andrew Moore's Story
Sue Hall, PT, Andrew Moore and Patty Rumbold, PTA
“To me they’re like angels! Sue sees things differently. She wants me to do things the right way. She doesn’t skimp. Patty wants precision each time…she always encourages me. You get beat down so much, you want to give up. But Patty builds you up, keeps you going.” - Andrew Moore
Andrew Moore sings the praises of Sue Hall, PT and Patty Rumbold, PTA. Their support and the results he sees, keep him coming back to Advanced Physical Therapy Center - Clio.
Andrew first walked through the doors of Advanced PT - Clio after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. His muscles weren’t working properly, and his body was becoming stiff. An innovative program called LSVT-BIG, can work wonders for people facing this long-term battle. And, it worked wonders for Andrew. The program helps to increase strength, motor learning, and changes in brain function in people with Parkinson's and other neurological conditions. Each treatment focuses on the production of large amplitude, whole body functional movements. Sue took a video of Andrew on his first day of this therapy and one on his last. Andrew was shocked at the difference in his movements and stability, saying, “I looked like a completely different person.”
Andrew still does his LSVT-BIG exercises to this day. But in the meantime, another health struggle brought Andrew back to Advanced PT for a second round of care. In the fall of 2019, Andrew had a mild heart attack. While still recovering from that, less than three weeks later, Andrew landed in the hospital again with a bleeding ulcer. September and October were tough on Andrew. He lost weight and strength. His doctor recommended physical therapy to build up his body and help him recover. Andrew knew right where to go.
“This is the place I wanted to come to,” said Andrew, about Advanced PT – Clio. He knew Sue and Patty would welcome him like family. Andrew had experienced therapy at another clinic, but says the warmth wasn’t there. He went on, “they treat me like a unique individual. They open up to me, and I open up to them.” It’s a close relationship that produces results. “My wife had to help me get into bed and roll me over. Now, I can roll over by myself. My wife doesn’t need to help me anymore. Now, I can lift and carry things again. I put my own clothes on. I still drive. I go grocery shopping.”
Andrew plans to keep up with the exercises he’s learned with Sue and Patty by joining Advanced PT’s StepDown program. It’s an option for patients to continue their regimen on their own, using Advanced PT’s equipment and gym space, for a low monthly fee.
When asked for a final thought, Andrew said, “I wish I would have found Advanced PT sooner.”
Richard LaFerney's Story
Richard on top of the #1 podium after a Brazilian Jujitsu tournament.
“Without this, I wouldn’t be a part of my son’s life. I’m available now. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Advanced PT. I’d still be on the sidelines.” - Richard LaFerney
On April 21, 2014, Richard LaFerney’s life changed forever. He suffered a devastating injury and faced years of recovery. But, in the end, Richard would receive a priceless gift for never giving up.
His story begins at an auto shop, where an average day at work suddenly takes a terrible turn. A car, that was accidentally shifted into drive instead of reverse, pins Richard against a steel oil drum. The nerves in his leg were severed; an artery destroyed. After a month in the hospital and countless surgeries, the immediate danger was over and the long road to recovery could begin.
Richard’s first three months of physical therapy at another facility were fruitless. They didn’t have the right equipment or experience to help. Richard became depressed, the pain was excruciating, and he began to think he’d struggle to walk for the rest of his life. Then came a recommendation to try the therapists and cutting-edge technology at Advanced Physical Therapy Center.
Katie, Jessica, Charles, Bret and Brian are just a few of the therapists Richard trusted during his sessions at Advanced PT. The progress was slow, and weeks of therapy turned into months. But soon, it became clear to Richard, he was in the right place. He noticed the pain in his leg was going away, which helped him attack his appointments with new found determination. Richard believes the positive atmosphere and the technology available at Advanced PT, like the HIVAMAT and Alter-G Treadmill, helped him tremendously along the way. Eventually, Richard was able to walk cane-free and now, he’s doing things he never dreamed possible.
At home, Richard’s biggest inspiration is his son, Trent. The battle to recover was all for him. Today, they participate in Brazilian Jujitsu together and Richard even laces up his skates to hit the ice with Trent’s hockey team. While looking around Advanced Physical Therapy Center in Grand Blanc, Richard revealed, “Without this, I wouldn’t be a part of my son’s life. I’m available now. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Advanced PT. I’d still be on the sidelines.” Before his accident, Richard was working 60 to 70 hours a week, which limited his time with Trent. Now, he understands how important that time is. It’s a gift given to him after years of hard work, with a little help from Advanced Physical Therapy Center.
Looking to the future, Richard says his experience at Advanced PT has him thinking about becoming a physical therapist. He wants to be on the other side of recovery now, giving people their lives back.
Karen Mulcahy's Story
Susan Hall, PT with Karen
“I am a believer in PT. If it’s offered to you, you should take it and take as much as you can have. It can only do good. And you’ll meet some really great people in the process, people who will help you on your journey.” - Karen Mulcahy
Karen Mulcahy knows all about physical therapy. Advanced Physical Therapy Center has been making a difference in her life for over six years. Her APTC story began when she started having knee trouble. The therapists helped until it became clear, she needed to have her knee replaced. Her first knee replacement surgery was in 2012. It would be her first of three. After each surgery, APTC made her stronger and got her back on her feet. But then, a devastating diagnosis: MRSA. Karen was left with an unthinkable choice. Amputation or risk a worse, possibly deadly infection.
To Karen, the choice was to live, and live a long time. Karen’s right leg was amputated in June of 2016. After the surgery, Karen came back to Advanced Physical Therapy. She had to learn to walk on a prosthesis and build her strength, one more time. Susan Hall, PT, had helped Karen in the past. “She’s ruthless,” Karen reveals. “She doesn’t let you get by with anything.” But Karen also credits Sue with getting her through the worst of it, each time.
Just as Karen was getting used to her new way of life, her husband had a health scare of his own. In a rush to see him, before he underwent surgery for a heart problem, Karen fell. A broken hip landed her in the hospital bed next to his. He went home a few days later. She went to a rehabilitation facility to recover from a total hip replacement.
In April 2018, Karen came back to APTC. Determined to fight, she started down the tough road to recovery, once again.
On Therapy Days, Karen says, “I’m ready. By the time I get here I’m locked and loaded. Chug, chug, chug to get through therapy. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I might be tired, but I’ve accomplished something. Sometimes its 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. But you keep going. You have to live your own story. How you choose to do that is totally up to you.”
Karen has tried other therapy centers and has even tried in-home therapy. But, she says nothing compares to APTC. She believes in the therapists and appreciates the variety recovery options available at the Clio clinic. Karen uses the mats and the weights and once she’s completed her doctor prescribed round of therapy sessions, she always follows up with APTC’s “Step Down” program. It provides people like Karen access to APTC’s gym facilities, so she can continue to work on what she learned during her therapist led treatment.
Karen’s prosthetic leg is painted with the message, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” The line, from the Grateful Dead song is one Karen relates to. She says, “I have not walked this path alone. People along the way helped me…Hard things come a long and I shed a lot of tears, but I made it...Now, if I can just continue and get this (hip) healed up. But, I’m not giving up.”
Karen still works with Sue to improve her gait and strengthen her hip. She hopes her story will inspire others to keep pushing, never give up and pay it forward when it’s their turn.
“People say – you are such an inspiration and I could never do what you’ve done. I say – you could, you just don’t know it yet. I didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t going to just sit down and die.” -Karen Mulcahy, September, 2018
Kevin Ronan's Story
In March of 2016, Kevin Ronan woke up with pain going down the side of his back. As the days progressed, he noticed his back was getting weaker and weaker, to the point that he couldn’t stand up. He went to his doctor, but his doctor was baffled. After several tests, his doctor couldn’t find what was causing the back pain and weakness. Then the pain moved to the other side of Kevin’s back. Being worried about her husband, Kevin’s wife, Katherine, took him to the emergency room. Kevin was later sent home after being treated for what they thought was pneumonia. The symptoms worsened from there. The weakness Kevin felt in his back started moving into his right leg. That is when he was sent in for surgery. In May, the surgeons found an epidural abscess on Kevin’s spine. Infectious disease doctors from all over the area tried to figure out what caused the abscess. No one could figure it out.
Kevin endured months of inpatient rehabilitation. During this time is when doctors told him that he would never walk again. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I can’t be in a wheel chair the rest of my life. I’ve got to prove them wrong. We are going to fight this.’ So, they decided to send me to physical therapy. I tried a couple of places, but I wasn’t getting results. My wife started looking for new places for me to try, and we came across Advanced Physical Therapy Center,” stated Kevin.
Kevin started physical therapy with Dane Potochny, MPT and Holly Clark, PTA in November. As his visits went by, Kevin started getting the strength back in his legs. Once wheelchair bound, Kevin can now walk around APTC’s gym three times with a walker. "When Kevin came in he was unable to stand. He is now able to walk with a walker and starting to go up and down stairs. It's great to see his determination and progress!” stated physical therapist assistant, Holly Clark, when asked about working with Kevin. “Kevin is an extremely driven individual and has worked hard to go from immobility to ambulatory,” said Dane, Kevin’s physical therapist.
When asked about how physical therapy has changed his condition, Kevin replied, “I can lift my legs up into the bed without help. I can put on my socks and shoes by myself. I can get in and out of the car, and no one needs to help me. I am taking showers on my own now. I am so happy! I couldn’t do those things before I came here.”
When asked about his experience with his therapy team, Kevin responded, “Dane and Holly are excellent to work with. I love them both. They push you just enough to get you where you need to be without making it too hard or discouraging. I wish I would’ve come here first instead of the other physical therapy clinics, but I am here now and doing well.”
Kevin has taken an early retirement and lives with his wife in Fenton. He sees Dane and Holly for his therapy twice a week. His next goal is to walk independently all the time with his walker. “I am feel like I am so close to my goal. If I keep working with Dane and Holly, I know I will get there,” said Kevin.
“Advanced was the best physical therapy I ever had!” Mary Lou , Grand Blanc Facility
“I tell everyone who needs physical therapy to use APTC.” Wanda , Grand Blanc Facility
“I feel Clio is very lucky to have a business like APTC located here. Your staff is GREAT!” Stevie, Clio Facility
“The best experience I have had at a medical facility. Amazing staff!” Paige, Clio Facility
“The staff was more than courteous. They made me feel important and special. They encouraged and motivated me.” Mac, Flint Facility
“The billing staff was very patient and considerate helping me to accomplish an out-of-network referral.” Gerrie, Grand Blanc Facility
“My experience here was tremendous.” Elizabeth, Clio Facility
“I want to thank you and your staff for making me a complete person again. Now that I can move like I used to, I’m in better shape then I was 10 to 15 years ago.” Bob, Grand Blanc Facility
“Advanced is in my prayers every night…. It has truly been a God-send for me.” Mary, Grand Blanc Facility
“I’ve been to several physical therapy specialists and companies.This has been the very best in all respects. I will always choose APTC.” Rosemary, Clio Facility
“Your care has given me another lease on life. Thanks a million!” William, Goodrich Facility
“I cannot say enough about the wonderful treatment I was given and how much better I am feeling. I will highly recommend APTC to everyone.” Patricia, Clio Facility
“If given a choice of where to have P.T., this is my choice!” Barbara, Flint Facility
“I was really worried about regaining my range of motion, and I'm thrilled to have 100%. APTC is the best ever!”
Nine Convenient Locations to Serve You
810-695-8700 10809 S. Saginaw St Grand Blanc, MI 48439
810-687-8700 303 S. Mill St Clio, MI 48420
810-412-5100 2138 Fairway Dr Davison, MI 48423
810-632-8700 11182 Highland Rd Hartland, MI 48353
810-732-8400 G-2241 S. Linden Rd Suite A Flint, MI 48532
810-636-8700 7477 S. State Rd Suite B Goodrich, MI 48438
248-620-4260 6167 White Lake Rd Suite 1 Clarkston, MI 48346
248-618-3050 6650 Highland Rd Suite 119 Waterford, MI 48327
810-354-7522 2500 North Rd Suite 102 Fenton, MI 48430