After 20 years of dealing with chronic back pain following a car accident, Alan Stanley of Oswego had accepted the fact that pain was going to be part of his everyday life.
“I went through all kinds of doctors, chiropractors, acupuncture and surgery,” says Alan. “It would make me feel better temporarily, but the pain always came back. I had basically given up.”
Until one day, when a suggestion by his neighbor literally changed his life.
On this particular day, his pain had gotten so bad, he couldn’t walk and he got stuck between his house and his neighbor’s house. She helped him in and recommended that he see her doctor.
Alan took her advice and the doctor recommended ATI Physical Therapy.
“When Alan first walked in and told me his story, I have to admit I was a little nervous,” says Brett Reuter, Alan’s physical therapist at ATI in Oswego. “I thought hopefully I can get this guy better, no one else has been able to.”
Brett’s only goal was to help Alan and relieve his pain for the long term. So that’s what he did.
Brett used a specialized treatment called the McKenzie Method to tackle Alan’s pain, and tailored his care to his needs. He utilized a team approach, calling on the expertise of his fellow therapists to identify weaknesses in Alan and create a comprehensive and collaborative plan.
“ATI has been great . . . a lot better than I expected,” says Alan. “Brett goes the extra mile and cares a lot. I know if I continue Brett’s recommendations, the exercises and stuff, I believe over the long term I’ll get better.”
Today, Alan is on a long-term exercise and pain management plan, and is no longer taking pain medications.
But, the success of Alan’s story doesn’t end here.
As Alan got to know Brett, he opened up about his situation at home. Because of his injury and pain, Alan’s ability to work was limited, as well as his insurance coverage.
And recently, due to a storm, he had damage to the roof of his trailer home and broken windows that were subjecting him to the elements. To make matters worse, his mattress was inadequate and wasn’t giving Alan the support he needed for his back.
As Alan approached his last visits to ATI, Brett was worried that he would regress. There were tools he needed to help with his pain, but insurance wouldn’t cover them.
“I thought long-term, what can I do for him to help him with this pain management,” said Brett. “So I contacted Andy Reichert with Reichert Medical to ask for his assistance.”
Andy helped Brett troubleshoot Alan’s situation for pain management, and kindly donated two back braces and a tens unit for pain management at home. Brett had also shared Alan’s living situation, and together Andy and Brett forged a plan.
Andy then took the story to his men’s group at Cross Lutheran Church in Yorkville, IL, and they rallied around him. After efforts to repair his trailer failed, they raised the funds to purchase Alan another trailer.
Back at the Oswego clinic, an employee donated a mattress for Alan.
While Andy and his men’s group did amazing things for Alan, he gives all the credit to Brett and his amazing personality. “Brett gets it. He’s in a profession that helps people, and he goes beyond the call,” says Andy. “This all happened because of what Brett did at ATI. I would have never known about his patient unless he told me."
As for Brett, this is all in a day’s work. “I want my patients to feel better, and I really do care about them as people. At the end of the day, it does feel good if I can put a smile on their face, or do something to give them any relief at all!”
Provided by ATI Physical Therapy