Patient Spotlight: Donna’s Story

We met Donna when she began therapy in March 2020 for bilateral total knee replacements. If you’re like us, you’re already thinking that this woman is a go getter just from that first sentence! Donna’s therapist, Candace Cunningham, PT, DPT greeted Donna on her first day of physical therapy and said something to the affect of, “A DOUBLE knee replacement?!” and in return, she replied, “Do people not do that?” It was at that point that we were introduced to the stubbornness and dedication that is Donna – and we knew she would have no issues meeting her goals.

For context, Donna is basically the modern day Superwoman. She has worked hard all of her life and is now a restaurant owner and mother of 8! You know that exceptional, historic restaurant in St. Charles Main Street with the OUTSTANDING potato soup? Magpie’s? Yep, that’s Donna’s recipe. (we also highly recommend trying the peach crepes after your soup – they are on another level) Donna waited tables at Magpie’s for 15+ years, before buying the restaurant herself. Almost all 8 of her children have worked there with her at some point or another.

Now, how did Donna land herself in need of a bilateral total knee replacement? Well, 15 years of waiting tables puts a lot of wear and tear on a body. She told us that she got to the point that after a long shift at work, she was afraid to sit down, because once she got down, she likely wouldn’t be able to get back up. Her knees would lock completely, preventing her from being able to stand. At first, Donna was mostly confused by it, because she didn’t have pain accompanying this strange stiffness. Eventually, Donna went to see a specialist for her knees, opting for nonsurgical injections for relief for almost 3 years. When this failed after some time, she was told that her knee joints were so worn that she would need to have them both replaced.

After surgery, Donna found Axes. She immediately became good friends with her therapist, Candace. Candace recalls that, “Donna came to each treatment session with the goal of doing a little better than the last time. Whether it was bending her knees a little farther, walking a little smoother, or gaining a little more strength. Even with my constant assurance that she was doing well, I quickly found out that didn’t want to just ‘do well’ –  she wanted to, ‘crush it!’”

Donna worked hard on her goals of getting back on her feet and walking, inside and outside of the clinic. She was compliant with her home exercise program and always pushing herself to do more than she did the day before. Donna pushed herself towards her goals for good reason – she wanted to get back to being her old Superwoman self. Her ‘WHY’ made the challenges of recovery and difficulty in therapy worthwhile.

We are so proud to say that Donna has graduated her 3 month physical therapy program with Axes – and she absolutely did CRUSH IT! She’s back to being a completely mobile full time mom of 8 and business owner. We are honored to have been a part of her healthcare team and to witness her improve week by week. When it was graduation day, we almost weren’t ready to see her go, but now that just means we have an extra excuse to go visit her for soup and crepes. Congratulations to you, Donna! Thank you for choosing and trusting Axes!

If you are in need of pre or post surgical care, general re-conditioning, or help returning to sport/daily activities in the wake of an injuryschedule your appointment at one of our 13 Greater St. Louis area locations or via a Telehealth injury screening.

To schedule an appointment with Candace or any of our expert physical therapists, request an appointment online today.