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Patient Success Stories

Athletico Physical Therapy is dedicated to providing outstanding patient care and personalized service on a daily basis. Patients tell their story best and we wanted to share their successful experiences with everyone. For your chance to be featured on our Patient Stories page submit your comeback story!

This Month’s Featured Patient:

On Sunday, June 6, 2021, my life forever changed. I was hit as a pedestrian by a Cadillac Escalade when I was crossing the street. I sustained 2 traumatic brain injuries (subdural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage), a collapsed left lung, and the following fractured bones: 12 left ribs, right cheekbone, occipital condyle, left ulna, 2 on right pubic bone, left tibia, shattered left fibula, displaced right toe, and 3 lumbar vertebrae. My left ACL was torn, and I had lacerations on my left kidney, spleen, and liver. I had perihepatic and perisplenic hematomas. I had run a 10k race the day before the accident, and now I couldn’t move. I underwent multiple surgeries during my time in the hospital, followed by time as an inpatient at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.

In the 8th week following my accident, my parents wheeled me into my first appointment at Athletico Omaha West Center. I was terrified. I hadn’t moved in 8 weeks. You name a body part, and it probably hurt. I was afraid of not being able to move the way I had before the accident. My physical therapist, Kris Johnk, told me we were going to take it slow. I thought I would be able to just take a step like before and it would feel normal again. I soon found out the body doesn’t work like that. Kris had me start with some “basic” exercises, and to my surprise, they were very challenging. I felt discouraged and thought, “Well, looks like this is going to take a lot longer than I thought.” Kris instructed me to take my first step. To my surprise, I couldn’t. My brain was telling my body to take a step, but my body just wouldn’t. With Kris’ instruction and encouragement, I kept on trying. Finally, I took my first steps in 8 weeks at Athletico in July of 2021, as my parents sat near and cheered me on.

In that first physical therapy session, I felt overwhelmed with joy and excitement because I had (literally) just taken the first steps to getting my life back. These feelings have continued throughout my recovery journey with Athletico. During the following months, I worked on building up strength throughout my entire body. As time went on, I began to specifically target my left quadriceps in preparation for ACL surgery I was to have in December.

When I first started physical therapy, I thought I would be making all these tangible “gains” and reach big, monumental goals. What I learned is that no matter how “small” you think something you achieve is, it’s not small. The work I’ve done and continue to do at Athletico has created a brick foundation upon which I can build my recovery journey. No matter how discouraged I feel on a given day, I always achieve something new during an appointment. Those first months following the accident were filled with lots of seemingly “little” wins that in the end made some really “big” wins possible.

After my ACL surgery in December, I continued physical therapy at Athletico with Kyle Larsen. My ACL was the one thing keeping me from running, and I was ready to push my limits so I could run as soon as possible. During my first appointment after surgery, I couldn’t lift my left leg despite all the strength I had built up prior to surgery. Again, I felt discouraged. I thought, “I’ve come this far, and I prepared all that I could, and now I’m starting back from square one? This isn’t fair.” Kyle picked up on my frustrations, and he educated me about why my leg wasn’t moving, even when my brain was telling it to. That alone took away much of my anxiety and allowed me to continue pushing myself. Before I knew it, I was lifting my leg without a problem and able to walk without crutches.

Kyle has been instrumental in my recovery from ACL surgery. Usually after an ACL surgery, the patient can’t run until a minimum of 16 weeks. Kyle knew all I wanted to do was run again, so he knew when to pull in the reigns when I got too ahead of myself. During my appointments, Kyle continually educated me about why the exercises are important and which pain is and isn’t OK to push through. His knowledge of current research, namely nerve desensitization in pain management, helped me to recover much quicker than is usually expected. Because of this, I was able to complete the return to running protocol after 12 weeks instead of 16. I got the OK to run, and it felt like a dream. On 6/6/22, the year anniversary on my accident, I was able to run 6.6 miles, just 24 weeks after my ACL surgery.

Athletico has given me my life back. I’ve gone from taking my first steps out of a wheelchair to my first steps running again 33 weeks later. My recovery would not have been possible without Athletico. Kris and Kyle have such wide ranges of knowledge, paired with creative minds to keep physical therapy fun, yet challenging. Without them, my recovery wouldn’t have been possible. I appreciate my body so much more than I ever have because of what they’ve shown me it’s capable of. Because of my time at Athletico and throughout my recovery journey, I’ve learned to appreciate all my achievements, no matter how big or small they seem. It’s easy to look to the future and think about all the things I have left to do before I achieve more goals. Now when I feel like that, I find myself looking back at everything I’ve achieved and feeling proud. Thank you to Kris, Kyle, and Athletico for helping me to achieve more than I ever thought possible and for giving me my life back.

2022 Patient Stories:

Marsha Behrens
Psoas Muscle
Oregon, IL

Brian Stevens
Arm/Leg Rehab
Cape Girardeau, MO

Darcy Welsh
Knee Rehab
Bourbonnais, IL

August 2022 POM

athletico july patient of the month 2022

Bob Marino
Knee Rehab
Fenton, MO

Tiffany Timmermann
ACL Injury
Vermillion, SD

Sami Callihan
Broken Ankle
Wright State, OHI

June 2022 Athletico patient of the month

May POM 2022

POM April 2022

Sheila Frost
Low Back Pain
Bloomfield Hills, MI

Nancy Wilson
Hip Replacement
Clear Lake, IA

Bianca Allor
Shelby Township, MI

March 2022 patient of the month

Feb POM 2022

2021 Patient Stories:

Laura Jarvis
General Pain
Hamburg, MI

Adam White
Dislocated Shoulder & Fractured Pelvis/Hand
Vernon Hills, IL

Alina Barnett
Total Knee Replacement & Kidney Transplant
McKinley Park (Chicago), IL

Madison Steskal
Torn Labrum & Fractured Tibia
Elgin, IL

Pawan Verma
Aches and Pains
Naperville, IL

Hailey Newill
Torn Labrum
Fremont, NE

Sukanta Majumdar
Shoulder & Knee Pain
Carmel, IN

Ariane May
Sciatic Nerve Pain
Westerville, OH

Richard Guzik
Nerve Injury – Arm
Norridge, IL

athletico patient of the month may 2021

James Bychowski
Torn Meniscus
Glenview, IL

Rick Kron
Ruptured flexor pronator tendon
South County, MO

Armando Trinidad
Multiple Sclerosis
Rolling Meadows, IL

2020 Patient Stories:

Jill LaFreniere
Torn Labrum
Collinsville, IL

Mitchell Hahn
Torn Meniscus
Fremont, NE

Carolyn Thomas
Fractured Humerus
Evanston, IL

Abby Schmidt
Western Springs, IL

Andrea Weber
Trimalleolar Fracture
Menomonee Falls, WI

Frank Tomaszewski
General Pain
Collinsville, ILS

athletico patient of month august 2020

Sara Aitken
Quad/Glute Pain
Prairie Village, KS

Grace Gau
Broken Foot
Colleyville, TX

Joe Gray
Elbow Surgery
Bucktown (Chicago), IL

patient of the month may 2020

Sandy Kindred
Shoulder Surgery
Ottawa, IL

August White
Fractured Ulna
Mesa East, AZ

Austin Antoni
AC Joint Sprain
Castleton (Indianapolis), IN

2019 Patient Stories:

Jennifer Dawson
Tibia and Fibula Break
West Des Moines, IA

Merron Hart
Ruptured Hamstring
Ankeny South, IA

Austin Farley
Niles/NW Chicago, IL

Tess Eckhoff
ACL Tear
New Albany, OH

Kathy Furteck
Lower Tibia Stress Fracture
New Lenox East, IL

Joseph Weber
Lower Back Pain
Rockford, IL

Jan Sinclair
Partial Knee Replacement
Brighton, MI

Karen Krohn
Knee Pain
Oak Brook, IL

Janine Renault
Knee Pain
Niles-Northwest Chicago

Mekenzie and Karrington Vandermolen
Chronic Pain
Grand Rapids, MI

Thiri Haubrich
Lower Back Pain
Paddock Lake, WI

Laura Stonitsch
Dizziness, Headache, Spine Pain
Channahon, IL

2018 Patient Stories:

Marianne Meeder
Muscle Imbalances
Fenton, MO

Ashley Barnett
Post Spinal Surgery
Bloomington, IN

Steven Huber
Post Rotator Cuff Surgery
Tinley Park, IL

Madison Slattery
Broken Finger
Orland Park, IL

Nora Bestor
Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Schaumburg, IL

Stephanie Rupp
Overland Park, KS

Carl Carlson
Post-Spinal Fusion
Kenosha (Aquatics), WI

Mary Smeltzer
Broken Shoulder
Gold Coast (Chicago)

Brian Kolz
Broken Wrist
Vernon Hills, IL

Michael Ferconio
Knee Replacement
Lisle, IL

Eden Fisher
Broken Elbow
Sioux Falls, SD

Michael Affeldt
Torn Achilles
Bucktown (Chicago)

2017 Patient Stories:

Nicole Harris
Hip Surgery
Novi, MI

Steve Burton
ACL Surgery
South Loop (Chicago)

Bob Samonski
Hip Surgery
Mt. Greenwood (Chicago)

Diana Ciepiela
Achilles Tear
Lincoln Park (Chicago)

Gregory Weinstein
Torn Rotator Cuff
Lincolnshire, IL

Kendall Schmidt
ACL Tear
Elgin, IL

Tim Noonan
Humeral Fracture
Lake Zurich, IL

Victor Montoya
Lower Back/Hip
South Loop (Chicago)

Donald Chalmers
Broken Arm/Elbow
Schererville, IN




Amy Bishop
Back Surgery
Elk Grove Village, IL

Billy Pirie
Back Pain
Third Lake, IL
Grace Langston
ACL Tear
Wentzville, MO

Billy Pirie


Past Patient Stories:

Greg Metzler
Bicycle Accident
North Loop (Chicago)

Laura Doherty
St. Charles, IL

Paul Koenig
Marathon Runner
Wheaton, IL

Randy Venahaus
Elbow Pain
Collinsville, IL

Deborah Feffer
Back Surgery
Buffalo Grove, IL

Donald Wilson
Knee Replacement
Tinley Park, IL

David Thomson Vertigo/BPPV Northbrook, IL

Demetrius Baker Knee Replacement Forest City, IA

Danielle Doucette Ankle Injury Milwaukee, WI

Glenn Kubek Baseball Injury Bridgeport (Chicago)

Maike Fink Shoulder Injury Munster, IN

Anna May Miller Atrial Fibrillation Iowa City, IA

Valerie Banister Work Injury Monument Circle (Indianapolis)

Carrie Matczynski Hip Injury South Elgin, IL

Gina Biernacki Knee Pain Mich. Ave. (Chicago)

Tom Maag Parkinsons Barrington, IL

James Strempel ACL Surgery Palatine, IL

Brooke Bloedorn Hip Pain Milwaukee, WI


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