Richard LaFerney’s Story

RLaFerney Pic

Richard on top of the #1 podium after a Brazilian Jujitsu tournament.

On April 21, 2014, Richard LaFerney’s life changed forever. He suffered a devastating injury and faced years of recovery. But, in the end, Richard would receive a priceless gift for never giving up.

His story begins at an auto shop, where an average day at work suddenly takes a terrible turn. A car, that was accidentally shifted into drive instead of reverse, pins Richard against a steel oil drum. The nerves in his leg were severed; an artery destroyed. After a month in the hospital and countless surgeries, the immediate danger was over and the long road to recovery could begin.

Richard’s first three months of physical therapy at another facility were fruitless. They didn’t have the right equipment or experience to help. Richard became depressed, the pain was excruciating, and he began to think he’d struggle to walk for the rest of his life. Then came a recommendation to try the therapists and cutting-edge technology at Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

Katie, Jessica, Charles, Bret and Brian are just a few of the therapists Richard trusted during his sessions at Advanced PT. The progress was slow, and weeks of therapy turned into months. But soon, it became clear to Richard, he was in the right place. He noticed the pain in his leg was going away, which helped him attack his appointments with new found determination. Richard believes the positive atmosphere and the technology available at Advanced PT, like the HIVAMAT and Alter-G Treadmill, helped him tremendously along the way. Eventually, Richard was able to walk cane-free and now, he’s doing things he never dreamed possible.

At home, Richard’s biggest inspiration is his son, Trent. The battle to recover was all for him. Today, they participate in Brazilian Jujitsu together and Richard even laces up his skates to hit the ice with Trent’s hockey team. While looking around Advanced PT in Grand Blanc, Richard revealed, “Without this, I wouldn’t be a part of my son’s life. I’m available now. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Advanced PT. I’d still be on the sidelines.” Before his accident, Richard was working 60 to 70 hours a week, which limited his time with Trent. Now, he understands how important that time is. It’s a gift given to him after years of hard work, with a little help from Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

Looking to the future, Richard says his experience at Advanced PT has him thinking about becoming a physical therapist. He wants to be on the other side of recovery now, giving people their lives back.

Karen Mulcahy’s Story

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Susan Hall, PT with Karen

“I am a believer in PT.  If it’s offered to you, you should take it and take as much as you can have. It can only do good. And you’ll meet some really great people in the process, people who will help you on your journey.”

Karen Mulcahy knows all about physical therapy. Advanced Physical Therapy Center has been making a difference in her life for over six years. Her APTC story began when she started having knee trouble. The therapists helped until it became clear, she needed to have her knee replaced. Her first knee replacement surgery was in 2012. It would be her first of three. After each surgery, APTC made her stronger and got her back on her feet. But then, a devastating diagnosis: MRSA. Karen was left with an unthinkable choice. Amputation or risk a worse, possibly deadly infection.

To Karen, the choice was to live, and live a long time. Karen’s right leg was amputated in June of 2016. After the surgery, Karen came back to Advanced Physical Therapy. She had to learn to walk on a prosthesis and build her strength, one more time. Susan Hall, PT, had helped Karen in the past.  “She’s ruthless,” Karen reveals. “She doesn’t let you get by with anything.” But Karen also credits Sue with getting her through the worst of it, each time.

Just as Karen was getting used to her new way of life, her husband had a health scare of his own. In a rush to see him, before he underwent surgery for a heart problem, Karen fell. A broken hip landed her in the hospital bed next to his. He went home a few days later. She went to a rehabilitation facility to recover from a total hip replacement.

In April 2018, Karen came back to APTC. Determined to fight, she started down the tough road to recovery, once again.

On Therapy Days, Karen says, “I’m ready. By the time I get here I’m locked and loaded. Chug, chug, chug to get through therapy. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I might be tired, but I’ve accomplished something. Sometimes its 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. But you keep going. You have to live your own story. How you choose to do that is totally up to you.”

Karen has tried other therapy centers and has even tried in-home therapy. But, she says nothing compares to APTC. She believes in the therapists and appreciates the variety recovery options available at the Clio clinic. Karen uses the mats and the weights and once she’s completed her doctor prescribed round of therapy sessions, she always follows up with APTC’s “Step Down” program. It provides people like Karen access to APTC’s gym facilities, so she can continue to work on what she learned during her therapist led treatment.

Karen’s prosthetic leg is painted with the message, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” The line, from the Grateful Dead song is one Karen relates to. She says, “I have not walked this path alone. People along the way helped me…Hard things come a long and I shed a lot of tears, but I made it…Now, if I can just continue and get this (hip) healed up. But, I’m not giving up.”

Karen still works with Sue to improve her gait and strengthen her hip. She hopes her story will inspire others to keep pushing, never give up and pay it forward when it’s their turn.

“People say – you are such an inspiration and I could never do what you’ve done. I say – you could, you just don’t know it yet. I didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t going to just sit down and die.”  – Karen Mulcahy, September, 2018

Welcome Kasey Moreno to Advanced Physical Therapy Center

Kasey Moreno, PT, DPT has been in the physical therapy field for over a decade.  She graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a doctoral degree in physical therapy in 2005 and is currently attending Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Manual Medicine Program.  She has several years of clinical management experience as she has served as a clinic director at an outpatient physical therapy clinic previous to coming to Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

moreno_kasey APTC 5-20-2018Kasey has been an athlete most of her life and spent a lot of time in physical therapy due to injuries.  She had her first experience with physical therapy in high school, and that is when her interest in the field began.  “I was in awe of how physical therapists were able to help people get back to the activities they enjoyed and how they helped restore their quality of life.  I knew one day I wanted to do the same,” said Kasey.

Kasey’s clinical focus has been on treating sports-related injuries and conditions, and she loves helping athletes get back to playing their game.  She has a special interest in pre– and post-operative rehabilitation for joint replacements and vestibular rehabilitation for the inner ear and balance.  She has attended several continuing education courses concentrated in sports medicine and manual therapy.  Her additional training includes kinesiology taping and exercise.

When working with patients, Kasey likes to make sure that each individual feels as though she is directing all her attention on them.  “I listen to what my patients say, and I let them know that I hear them,” says Kasey.  She also likes to make sure patients have the tools they need to continue to improve and become the best they can be after physical therapy.

Kasey is originally from Otisville and now lives in Davison with her husband, their son and two dogs.  When she is not busy treating patients, she enjoys spending time with family, playing golf with her husband and watching her son play sports.

If you ask Kasey what she likes about being a physical therapist, she would most likely tell you, “Being a physical therapist is one of the most rewarding professions.  I love being able to take patients out of pain and limitations and get them back to functioning again.  I am proud to say that this is what I do for a living.”

Kasey Moreno, PT, DPT

2138 Fairway Dr.

Davison, MI  48423

(810) 412-5100

Biggest Myth About Aquatic Physical Therapy


I need to know how to swim to take part in aquatic physical therapy.

Not true!  You do NOT need to know who to swim to take part in aquatic physical therapy.  The exercises performed in the therapy session are done in chest high deep water.  If a patient feels particularly unstable, we are able to adapt the exercises to be done near the edge of the pool where the patient can hang on for more support.  We also have flotation devices available for use.  While the patient is in the pool, the therapist is there to assist and guide the patient as needed.

Aquatic therapy is an excellent option for patients who are not able to exercise on land for various reasons, such as post-operative knee surgery, arthritis and gait/balance issues.

Advanced Physical Therapy Center has two locations that offer aquatic physical therapy.

pool at deer lakeAPTC-Clarkston
6167 White Lake Rd. Ste. 1
(inside the Deer Lake Athletic Club)



DAC poolAPTC-Davison
2138 Fairway Dr.
(inside the Davison Athletic Club)



While athletic trainers and physical therapists both work with people who have suffered sports injuries, the similarities between the two careers end there. Trainers and therapists have different educations, certifications and work place settings.
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who help athletes and other physically active people to prevent and recognize injuries related to physical activity. As an athletic trainer you work with athletes to manage and rehabilitate acute athletic injuries. Physical therapists work with individuals of all ages and fitness levels with chronic or acute injuries and illnesses. Their work involves developing strategies to help patients gain, restore and maintain movement, physical function and mobility.
To be an athletic trainer, you need a bachelor’s degree and a license to work in this field. Within the next year, all professionals entering into the field must obtain a master’s degree. Physical therapists must complete several years of post-secondary study to earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy, and they need to be licensed.
Athletic trainers, primarily, work in schools and work with travel sports teams, professional sports teams and other organizations. Physical therapists work, mostly, in outpatient clinics, hospitals, and nursing facilities. Occasionally, you will see athletic trainers and physical therapists working together, and there are many athletic trainers that go on to obtain their degree in physical therapy. We have three on staff at Advanced Physical Therapy Center. One we would like to feature is the director of our Flint clinic, Michael Brew, PT, DPT, AT. Read more about him below.
Michael Brew (Mike) (reduced size)Michael Brew, PT, DPT, AT has over 20 years of experience working with athletic injuries, as both an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. He has a special interest in gymnastics and dance injuries due to the fact his two daughters have been involved in the sports for many years. He has worked with all types of athletes from professional, collegiate, recreational to high school athletes in various sports. When it comes to experience working with athletes, Mike is unmatched by anyone in the local area.
Have an athlete that can use Mike’s help? Contact him via email or call APTC-Flint to schedule a free consultation!
G-2241 S. Linden Rd. | Ste. A
Flint | MI | 48532

Advanced Hand Rehab Keeps on Growing to Meet Patient Need

Welcome Erika Sheroski, OTRL to the Advanced Hand Rehab Team

Erika Sheroski’s interest in occupational therapy started when her father was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008. She witnessed the caring and compassion the occupational therapist had for her father and watched as he was able to gain back some independence in his home life. In honor of her father and as a way to give back to the community, Erika decided to go into occupational therapy as a career.

sheroski_erika APTC BHPHOTO 1-4-2018 - reduced sizeErika has a Master of Health Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Baker College for Graduate Studies. She is a member of the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association, and her future goal is to attend continuing education in upper extremity rehabilitation, orthotic fabrication, stroke rehabilitation and joint replacement. During her fieldwork rotations, she worked for a neuro care center where she was able to work with traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. One her most memorable patients is a patient who suffered from a TBI and had multiple fractures to her upper extremities. The patient’s prognosis wasn’t good, and Erika knew this case was going to be tough. Her plan of care was to not only rehabilitate the patient’s biomechanical injuries but also her cognitive function. After three months of hard work, the patient was able to recover and walk out of the facility with help of just a walker.

In her spare time, Erika enjoys getting together with friends and family for meals. “I love cooking for people,” says Erika. She is also an avid reader, and she will often pick a random book to read from the bookstore or library just for the variety. To stay active and healthy, she practices yoga, circuit trains and lifts weights.

Erika is an occupational therapist out of Advanced Hand Rehab’s Davison location. She is an excellent therapist for sports injuries relating to the upper extremities. She understands, firsthand, what the athletes go through. She played softball throughout grade school and into college, as well as for several travel teams, including the West Michigan Heat. She considers herself to be a good listener and wants her patients to feel comfortable and trust that what she is doing for them is the absolute best. “I work hard for my patients. I am in constant pursuit of growing and increasing my knowledge. I am fortunate to work in an environment where I can go to my therapist mentors. It’s been a welcoming and supportive environment,” said Erika.

APTC Employee, Stephanie Straus, Graduates with Her Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy

Congratulations, Stephanie!  We are so happy to have you stay with us and continue on your wonderful career.

Stephanie Straus, PT, DPT has been a part of the Advanced Physical Therapy Center team since 2012. She started her career in healthcare as a physical therapy aide at our Clio clinic. Her cousin, who is a pediatric physical therapist, convinced Stephanie to shadow her at work for a day, and the rest, as you say, is history.

Stephanie StrausStephanie graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a doctorate in physical therapy in 2017. While pursuing her degree, she was a part of a weekly gait and seating clinic at Beaumont Hospital, involving wheelchairs, seating devices and orthotic fittings for the pediatric population. Much of her hands-on time was spent evaluating the optimization of function for children, which involved gait analysis and positioning. Stephanie’s passion lies with the pediatric population, and she thoroughly enjoys treating several diagnoses pertaining to this population, such as toe-walking and torticollis. She also has continuing education in concussion management and works with young athletes getting them back on the field safely after concussion. Her other special interests include educating patients on posture alignment and balance training.

Stephanie does an excellent job building rapport and establishing relationships with her patients. She is a vivacious, genuine person, which translates to her treatment sessions. “I like being able to build relationships, get to know my patients and spend time with them while they get well. I think a big part of physical therapy is gaining the patient’s trust. If our patients don’t believe we genuinely care about them, then the recovery process is much more difficult,” says Stephanie.

Stephanie treats patients out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Clio location. She is originally from Swartz Creek but now lives in Fenton with her German Shepard mix, Charlotte. She is looking forward to 2018, because she is getting married to her wonderful fiancé, Jason. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with friends and family, travel and hang out on the lake kayaking and boating. She is also an avid runner participating in several road races, and she completed the Detroit half marathon in 2016. If you ask Stephanie what she enjoys about working at Advanced Physical Therapy Center, she will tell you, “I love my co-workers! It is one of the main reasons why I came back after school. Everyone is passionate about their jobs and is hardworking, which is reflected in their care for patients.”