My Way Back - Occupational Therapy - Physical Therapy - Rehabilitation Services at Thompson Health
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Read Our Stories

Everyone who has recovered from a debilitating injury or illness has a comeback story of personal triumph.

Patients of every age come to us with a desire to feel better. Our physical, occupational, lymphedema and speech therapists are experienced professionals whose expert guidance and motivation can transform the challenges of a condition into the triumph of a life with enhanced mobility.

Read the triumphant stories of three of our patients, in their own words, and how physical therapy was their way back to doing what they love.

Learn more about our team of therapists and how they can help you find your way back from an illness or injury. To learn how we can help you find your way back call 585-396-6050

Rehabilitation Locations
F.F. Thompson Hospital
350 Parrish Street, Canandaigua
Enter through the Constellation Center via West Street

(585) 396-6050

Sports Medicine
350 Parrish Street, Canandaigua
Enter through the Constellation Center via West Street
(585) 396-6700

Farmington Rehabilitation
 Part of F.F. Thompson Hospital 

1160 Corporate Drive, Farmington
(585) 924-4449

Carter Moore - football player

Carter Moore, Football Player I've been playing football since I was 4 years old. I love the excitement and being part of a team. Over the years, I've played a lot of positions on the field, but my favorite is the defensive line. You have to think fast to keep the other team from making a play. Back in September, we were playing a home game against East High. It was Senior Night and we were playing hard. On one play, I'm charging in on a halfback, ready to make the tackle, when one of my teammates gets knocked into me at the same moment I'm getting blocked. I heard three pops, then everything went white from the pain and I went down. They took me off in a stretcher. At the hospital, they discovered that I'd blown out everything in my knee-ACL, MCL and PCL-and after four hours of surgery, I knew I was in for a long recovery process.

I met my physical therapist, John Ahern, at Thompson Health Rehabilitation Services. My biggest fear was that I wasn't going to get to play football again, but after talking with him that first day, I knew I would be back. It was only three days after surgery, but already he had me working on improving my range of motion and getting my strength back. He took the time to get to know me so he'd know how far he could push and how to keep me motivated. Today, I'm still working to be my best, and I'm looking forward to playing football when I head off to college in the fall. Oh, and just for the record, we won that Senior Night game, 40-26.

Amanda Sudore - triathlete

Amanda Sudore, triathlete For years, I played soccer at a highly competitive level, first in high school, then at college and finally at a semi-pro level. I'd had bumps and bruises and once I broke my leg, but I was fortunate to never have had any truly serious, career-ending injuries. That changed in an instant when I was playing in a just-for-fun co-ed recreational-league game. I was burning the guy who was supposed to be covering me. Next thing I know, I'm taken down by a dirty tackle that injured my left ACL. I was treated for that and after a few months, my left leg was strong enough to play again. What I didn't count on was twisting my right leg first game back! I tore everything-it was much worse this time.

I chose to start my recovery at Thompson Health Rehabilitation Services. I work at Thompson Hospital as a speech pathologist, so I knew firsthand the level of care I'd receive. My physical therapist, John Ahern, created a plan to accommodate my work schedule, range of motion and goal-an IRONMAN competition. John worked with me one-on-one. He knew just how much to push me, and he shared my commitment to recovery. After just nine months, I've regained my strength and full range of motion. And this July, you can catch me at the Musselman Triathlon race in Geneva. Well, you can try to catch me.

Nick Albrecht - outdoorsman

Nick Albrecht - outdoorsman It was a dark night and it seemed like I was the only car on County Road 10. Suddenly, there was an animal in the road and I swerved hard to avoid hitting it. Next thing I know, the car is on its side, sliding across the road and into a parked car at an auto dealership. I undid my seatbelt and tried to crawl out, but I was pinned against the steering wheel. I kept my hand on the horn until I heard someone telling me that help had arrived. They had to cut off the roof and use the Jaws of Life to get me out, but I don't remember much of that.

I fractured my back and the doctors had to put in a titanium rod. At first, I couldn't move my left leg, but after a month in the hospital, I had some limited movement, but I had to use a wheelchair. That's when I started my physical rehab at Thompson Health. My therapist, Nancy Buerman worked with me at my level, pushing me just enough to make real progress. I used a special harness suspended from the ceiling that supported about half my weight so I could keep my balance as I exercised my leg. It took time, but eventually I was able to walk on my own. I still have a ways to go, but I'm well on my way back for bow season.

Shawn Mason - biker

Shawn - biker I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 16, putting on about 10,000 miles a year. I can’t see myself not riding. But then I couldn’t see myself getting into an accident that would almost cost me my leg, either.

I was riding my 2008 Harley Deluxe near my home in Clifton Springs when the car in front of me suddenly switched lanes. I swerved as best as I could but I still clipped the edge of the car. I went sailing and hit the pavement at 60 miles an hour, rolling like a tumbleweed for what seemed like forever, and the whole time I’m thinking, “This is gonna hurt.” I ended up in a sitting position, 30 yards from the crash, and at first I thought I was ok. Then I looked down and saw my left leg bent out at a 90-degee angle. I assumed it was just dislocated and that they’d pop it in and I’d be up and around in a week. It was a lot worse than that, and I learned later how close I came to losing my leg altogether. I tore every ligament in my knee, and it would take six surgeries and almost a year of therapy before I could get back to work.

I worked with physical therapist John Ahern. We worked as a team and slowly my range of motion and mobility increased. It was hard and I can’t say that it was always fun, but I knew how important it was and I knew that John was just as committed as I was. We spent eight months working together, and while my therapy’s done, I’ll always consider John a good friend.

My old bike was totaled, so now I’m riding a 2013 Harley Road King. My wife Angela likes to ride as well. Thanks to John and Thompson Health Physical Therapy, I’m back on the road.

Jane Nohe - bowler

Jane Nohe - bowler I’ve done a lot of things in my 70 years, but one thing I haven’t done is bowl a perfect game. Not yet, anyway!

For more than 40 years, I’ve been in the same league at Roseland Bowl, and while people come and go and the teams change, it’s always been an important part of my life. My husband Tom bowls on the same night so in a way it’s like a date night for us. And of course there are my teammates! Diane, Cathy, Barbara and I have been playing together for three years now. We don’t win every game but we always have a lot of fun.;

A while back, I began to notice some weakness in my hand and occasionally I’d get that tingling feeling like my hand was asleep. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but then one morning I woke up and my index finger and middle finger were numb. I knew that wasn’t good! 

My doctor referred me to an orthopaedic specialist and soon that led to carpal tunnel surgery. The surgery went great, but the recovery process was slow. I’m an active person and I especially didn’t like sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone else bowl. I felt left out. My surgeon recommended that I do my therapy at Thompson Health and that made all the difference.       

Teresa Wheatley was my occupational therapist. She was marvelous! She started by asking if I had any goals and I told her that first day that I wanted to get back to my team. We started slow, but every week I progressed and Teresa added new exercises that I could do at home. She was very patient with me and never pushed me too hard, and she was always focused on me and me alone. She’s a real pro, and I’m glad that we became friends. Thanks to Teresa and everyone at Thompson Health Rehabilitation Services, I’m back on the team and looking for that perfect game.

Greg Deal -guitarist

Greg Deal: Guitarist When I tell people that I play the guitar, they always want to know what kind of music I like to play. The truth is, I love it all, from classical guitar to metal. As long as I’m playing, I’m happy. So when complications from a childhood injury flared up, making it painful to play, you can imagine how that made me feel.

Back in third grade, I was playing around in the bed of a parked pickup truck when I slipped and smacked my elbow on the side of the truck. It did not look good. I ended up having surgery, and while that went great, I’ll admit I didn’t take the recovery PT very seriously. What 8-year-old is thinking about their long-term quality of life? Well, sure enough, I ended up with a giant bone spur lodged in my elbow. Around 12 or 13, I went back to PT and my arm felt a little better for a while, but over the years my range of motion continued to decline and it got to the point where it was painful to play the guitar for any length of time. When I turned 25, I decided it was time to restart my life.  

The surgery was a success, and for the first time in as long as I could remember, there was no pain. The old me hadn’t had the patience needed to do the post-surgery PT, but this time I was committed—and so were the therapists at Thompson Health. After I started working with Cheryl Palermo an occupational therapist, within two months, I started seeing major results. It’s like I have two arms again. I’m back to lifting weights and now I can play the guitar for three hours straight. Thanks to Thompson Health, I’m rocking out again.

Noel Roland - gardener

Noel Roland - Gardener I’m one of the few people you’ll meet who actually loves to rake leaves. People find that funny, especially people with big yards and lots of trees. But I find it very peaceful and its good exercise, too. For me, everything to do with gardening is fun. Okay, maybe not weeding, but most everything! I’m a lifelong gardener. And I’m also a breast cancer survivor.
 

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and my lymph nodes removed in 2014. All of my treatment—diagnosis, chemo, surgery—was through Thompson Health. Lymphedema brought on by cancer treatment made my arm stiff and was limiting my range of motion. My doctor was very firm about beginning rehab as soon as possible, so before my surgery I met with Angela Kiklowicz, an occupational therapist at Thompson Health. She taught me some exercises that would help keep the swelling down. Then, just a couple days after surgery, I began occupational therapy. We always took things slow, and every day I noticed we made progress.

Going through all of this was not easy, but fortunately I had the help on my daughter Morgan. She’s always been one of my biggest supporters. And I’m so grateful to Angela and all the people at Thompson Heath for everything they’ve done throughout this experience.

It was a long, hard winter, but now that the good weather is here, I’m back in the garden doing what I love. And I’m looking forward to many, many beautiful autumns filled with lots of leaves to rake!