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Melinda: Physical Therapy

Melinda Patient Story

After a motorcycle accident left her in a body brace for three months, a spinal cord injury, and several broken vertebrae, hospital physicians gave Melinda a 5% chance of walking again. However, once Melinda started physical therapy at UPMC, her physical therapists saw the potential of partial functioning gait with the use of braces or equipment.

With the help of physical therapist Jennifer Pfaff and physical therapist assistant Mary McCauley, Melinda, who is a UPMC employee, can now walk with straight leg braces for more than 200 feet.

“Jennifer and Mary have been my biggest motivators,” Melinda said. “If it wasn’t for them believing in me, I might have given up on therapy way too soon.”

When asked about Melinda’s success in coming back after such a serious injury, Mary McCauley said,

“Melinda is a very strong-willed person who works very hard to achieve goals. She is very diligent with her home program!”

Because of physical therapy, Melinda recently vacationed with her family and walked at her brother’s beach house. Her biggest goal during her time in physical therapy was to walk her 6-year-old daughter out of preschool – and she did!

“My experience at the Seneca location is amazing. The therapists are not only good to me, but my children, too,” Melinda said. “They show positive energy and bring my daughters little treats to make therapy a positive family experience.”

While Melinda understands this is a long process, she is continuing to improve during the ongoing physical therapy process.  

“You have to keep moving!” Melinda said.

Read more stories from physical therapy patients.

Learn more about the Physical Therapy Program.