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LeVern's Physical Therapy Story

"I'm in the right place for my recovery."

"The pain in my shoulder was immediate and excruciating."

n February of 2016, LeVern slipped on a patch of ice. Losing his balance, he fell and landed on his left elbow which forced his arm upward, causing excruciating pain in his shoulder. An MRI revealed that he had torn his rotator cuff and would need surgery to repair the damage.

This brought LeVern to the physical therapy department at ACMC for the first time. It was then that he met Kendra Mooberry, a physical therapy student working in the department. "I saw LeVern for a good majority of my clinical rotation," Kendra explained. "He was doing very well and we discharged him when he was ready for surgery."

"After therapy on my left shoulder, I was back to work in no time."

After recuperating from his surgery, LeVern returned to physical therapy to regain the range of motion he had lost from his injury. This was shortly after Kendra had transitioned from a student to being hired as a full-time physical therapist with ACMC. Kendra began working as a full time PT in the New London/Spicer in August of 2016. With LeVern working in the NL/S area, he was excited to be able to work with a therapist he was familiar with.

The two spent a few weeks working together with rapid progress. Kendra then developed an at home program for LeVern to follow which sped up his recovery process. "I was able to get back to work full-time a month earlier than originally estimated," LeVern said. "The doctor attributed Kendra's therapy and my dedication to the program for my early return."

"LeVern was really easy to work with," Kendra explained. "He is a very motivated individual so I point him in the right direction and he continues to try and out do himself."

With full range of motion back in his left shoulder, LeVern got back to life without restrictions. But unfortunately, this wouldn't last long. Just two weeks before the one year mark from his rotator cuff tear, he found himself back at square one, but this time on the opposite shoulder.

"When I fell the second time, I never thought it was my rotator cuff."

In January of 2017, LeVern was working outside again when he slipped and fell on his right side. "I knew it was slippery so I went to reach for the side of my truck and that's when I went down," he recalled. With his arm outstretched, LeVern landed with his shoulder nearly parallel to the ground. To LeVern's surprise, the pain he had experienced with his previous fall wasn't there. "My first thought was that it didn't hurt that bad so I got up, dusted the snow off and went back to work," he said. But when LeVern went to put the chains he was using back in his truck he noticed that his right arm wouldn't go up.

LeVern was diagnosed with a full rotator cuff tear involving his supraspinatus as well as infraspinatus muscles. This meant he would be headed back into physical therapy to prepare for his second rotator cuff surgery. "It's really been a nightmare situation for him," Kendra said. "But he is handling everything really well."

"I knew Kendra would push me to get better and stronger."

When the time came to decide which therapist LeVern wanted to work with, his choice was easy. "I prefer to push myself to the limit because that's the only way to make progress," LeVern explained. "Other therapists don't always have that mindset but Kendra does. My experience with her in the past validates that she is the right therapist for me."

Kendra acknowledged that LeVern's commitment to the process makes her job as a therapist easy as well. "He knows where he can push himself and is responsive to my process," Kendra said. "He is very determined and focused, wanting as much information as I could give him."

"I trust that Kendra will get me back to where I need to be."

LeVern is also a former power lifter who appreciates Kendra's athletic drive from her days of collegiate track. "When I read Kendra's bio and realized she was in athletics, it made sense because that mentality of wanting to improve is exactly what I have."

As LeVern and Kendra start their therapy process again, both are ready to take on this new challenge. With a goal of surpassing his previous results, LeVern believes that he is in the right place for his recovery and is glad to have Kendra by his side.