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.