As a PT or PTA, you transform lives in powerful ways, every day—but that doesn't mean you feel all that powerfully transformative every day. Sometimes, the whirlwind of your own life, the pressures of your profession, and the seemingly never-ending tiny everyday frustrations cloud your view of that inspirational big picture.
And, sometimes, the only way to see how you're making the lives of people better is by listening to other PTs' patients talk about what physical therapy did for them. Hearing those stories brings the realities closer to home. Suddenly it's as if you're hearing your own patients' voices, and seeing what you do, reflected in the words of another person whose life was transformed.
Over the summer, APTA began collecting patient stories that document the very real ways physical therapy helped them live parts of their lives they never knew, or believed they would never regain. The stories will be posted over time on MoveForwardPT.com.
Each story is worth a read (and worth sharing with patients, clients, and the community at large), but here are 5 of the best so far. Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come.
Scott: At 50, Scott weighed more than 500 pounds and struggled to walk. After physical therapy, he has lost 300 pounds and now exercises regularly. Scott also recorded a podcast relating his journey.
Virginia: Virginia wondered if depression and inactivity were just a part of being 90 years old. Then she begin seeing a PT, and now she's more active and more independent—and much happier.
Laura: This 30-year-old mother of 2 was told she’d likely never walk again after she was paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord infection. Today, after intensive physical therapy, she is progressively walking and caring for her children. Laura's podcast is also available.
Keith: By the time he was 35, Keith felt like no matter what he did "some health issue would present itself and take little pieces of my life away." His physical therapist didn’t just treat his injured body, she "was there to pick up the emotional pieces."
Gerardo: After being ejected 40-60 feet from a car, this 21-year-old suffered traumatic brain injury. One year later, because of physical therapy, he is walking and living independently, and attending college for a degree in kinesiology.
There's much more to come, and we're still collecting stories. Check in with MoveForwardPT.com for more stories, and encourage your patients and clients to contact us with their thoughts on how physical therapy has transformed their lives.
This article is a part of APTA's "Profession in Transformation" series. Check it out!