“In the face of adversity, you find out if you’re a fighter or a quitter. It’s all about getting up after you’ve been knocked down.”
It is safe to say most of us in some way, shape, or form over the last few months have been knocked down. The novel coronavirus, or as we know it COVID 19, has managed to knock down American businesses, schools, family gatherings, the ability to hug a grandparent or friend, and threatened our overall sense of security. But as April comes to an end and May begins, there is hope. The “social distancing” has helped. We are flattening the curve across the country, in our own state of Missouri, and in our greater St. Louis area. This has taken patience, determination, and courage by each and every one of us. As an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand therapist, I’m fortunate to meet people with this kind of determination every day.
I’d like to introduce you to our Axes Physical Therapy patient, Liz, a woman with fierce determination, a will to survive, and the strength to perservere.
Liz is a phlebotomist. She travels to patient’s homes to collect samples and deliver to local laboratories in rural Missouri. Last winter, she was involved in a life changing motor vehicle accident while traveling to a laboratory. Liz sustained multiple injuries including liver laceration, several broken ribs, pelvic fracture, open fracture of both tibia and fibula, left femur fracture, right wrist fracture, and left humerus fracture with radial nerve palsy.
In short, Liz was fortunate to survive. While we all fear being placed on a ventilator, she has been there and survived it. She was in a coma in the intensive care unit on ventilator for 6 days. This active mother of a 10-year-old son and loving wife of a lineman was not just knocked down, she faced death and fought back. I met Liz in early February for her first outpatient therapy visit. Liz had recently been discharged home after a near 5 week stay in the hospital for treatment and therapy. She came to Axes Physical Therapy in a wheelchair, having difficulty walking, limited use of her dominant right hand, and very little movement of her left hand due to severe nerve injury.
This is Liz after 3 months dedicated to physical therapy…
Since the day of her injury, she has chosen to fight. Liz is a shining example of determination and courage in the face of adversity battling life threatening injuries in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. She has exhibited strength, courage, determination and commitment to get her life back. I want to share her story to show that being “knocked down” does not mean being knocked out. We as a country can learn from courageous people like Liz; with determination, strength, and guidance from an experienced physical therapist, we can get back to what matters most!
About the Author: Jennifer Hoffman, OTR/L, CHT graduated as an occupational therapist in 1998 from the University of Missouri. Since receiving the highly prestigious certification as a hand therapist (CHT) in 2005, Jennifer has been managing upper extremity injuries, surgeries and conditions exclusively in a variety of outpatient settings, earning the trust of many top orthopedic and plastic surgeons in the area. She is known in the area as a caring and compassionate therapist. To schedule an appointment with Jennifer, request an appointment online today.