“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” -C.S. Lewis
The beginning of a new year has always brought a chance to start fresh. As 2020 came to a close, New Years 2021 took on a whole new meaning for beginnings and hope for the future. An unprecedented global pandemic changed our way of life and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t reflected on the upheaval the events of 2020 brought to the entire world.
I’d like to introduce you to Teresa Haun, a woman who is making new beginnings of her own after facing her own personal challenges in 2020.
Teresa and her husband were going out for breakfast on Christmas Eve 2019; taking time to enjoy each other before family festivities began. The truck they were driving hit a rough spot on the road causing the truck to spin out of control. Both Teresa and her husband were injured in the accident, but unfortunately Teresa’s right arm was pinned between the shattered truck window and a tree crushing her arm. Due to the level of damage sustained to her right arm, salvage was not possible and her right dominant arm had to be amputated just below the shoulder level.
I first met Teresa in February after her arm was stable enough to begin hand therapy. She had severe pain, stiffness, and weakness in her shoulder as well as pain from unhealed surgical wounds to repair skin/tissue to cover and protect the remaining portion of her arm. Amputees frequently suffer from missing limb “phantom pain,” as the brain is trying to send signals to an arm that is no longer there. As she was working hard to rehabilitate- recover both mentally and physically from the trauma of losing her arm and learn to live with her own “new normal”- COVID 19 brought a screeching halt to our world. The mandated quarantine brought on by COVID-19 in March halted Teresa’s recovery for several months.
However, Teresa is a strong woman with patience, determination, and perseverance. When she was able, she returned to therapy and continued to work hard for her new beginning – getting her “new” right arm. Teresa worked through various challenges including weakness, skin irritations from nerve transfers, and overcoming severe phantom pain in order be able to apply and use her new right limb. After long delays in 2020, she finally received her right arm prosthesis at the very end of last year.
I always feel very blessed to meet people like Teresa. She is one of the kindest and most gracious people I have met. I honestly never once heard her complain about the loss of her limb or her circumstances. She truly refused to let ANY of the challenges of 2020 get in the way of her recovery. I’d like for you to see her in action at therapy, before her first shopping trip with her new arm.
Teresa – here’s to your new beginning in 2021! Cheers to YOU!
Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis is proud to offer this specialized and elite service to our customers. Whether you’ve suffered trauma, had surgery due to a chronic injury or are managing the daily struggles of an arthritic condition, our team of experienced hand therapists in St. Louis are here to guide you along the road to recovery. We understand the physical and emotional toll that accompanies these injuries.