Through her extraordinary skills, and sincere devotion to my physical and emotional needs, Lee Spannhake has rescued me from desperation, and brought me back to life. As an 85-year-old woman who'd been through replacements of both knees and hips, suffering a terribly deformed lower spinal column, wracked with arthritis in every joint, I was pretty much confined to a wheelchair, unable to get up un-aided from chair or bed, unable to walk using a walker. Over the years, I'd been served by many Physical Therapists, to no noticeable effect. I'd given up. Lee is in a class of her own --
inspiring, thorough, compassionate. dedicated to getting me up and walking -- and we're doing it!
It's the time of year that I especially remember the people in our lives who have touched us in extraordinary ways. I want you to know the impact you have made on our family, both personally and professionally. When we thought we had an unbearable road of recovery ahead for Reet after her broken hip, you accepted her as a private patient. Not only did you treat her exceptionally well for her physical therapy needs, you also cared so gently for her and for my dad---simply put, you developed a safe and peaceful relationship with them so they could heal and recover. Both my parents looked so forward to their "Lee days"! When you walked in with your huge smile, they knew they were safely in your good and talented hands to work toward their independence. You helped us all learn the "why" behind their physical challenges and you helped us understand the treatment plans ahead. You taught us as a family how to support our parents with their "exercise homework" and you were always available along the way if we needed you outside our appointment times. When AB fell and broke his hip, his very first request as his inpatient rehab neared the end was, "please call Lee and see if she is available to help me". And you were!! My dad was eager to regain his strength, walking and balance---you helped him reach those goals and along the way, he loved laughing with you!
We are forever grateful to you Lee. You made a profound difference for our parents and for our family. I hope that you will keep sharing your talents as a skilled PT and most of all, please keep sharing your warm heart.
Thanks Lee----for you.
Caring for aging parents is always a challenge. As my aging parents caregiver, I understood that keeping their mobility and balance gave them the chance to help preserve their quality of life as long as possible during the aging process. I started with them having balance therapy on a very frequent basis and this rapidly improved their mobility and balance to prevent falls. I continued with the help of Lee to have therapy to keep mobility good for them for the last 10 years. My mother-in-law (Dot Worth) recently passed away at 96 but even with a hip replacement and knee replacements she still had some mobility and was not wheelchair-bound. She had good quality of life right up to the end. My dad now 99 still continues therapy with Lee who is keeping him still walking. I feel that as we age mobility becomes less and it becomes more difficult to climb stairs, walk long distances and all the things that keeps the body healthy and in balance. By taking the time and effort to keep good mobility of the body we may live a long healthy life Exercise improves the mind, body strength, balance, ability to heal itself and improves appetite etc.
Lee is, without question, the most caring and compassionate person I know, and that's one of her secrets, the other is her contagious smile. My mom was always up and motivated for whatever challenge Lee presented that day, and mom always exceeded the goals that Lee set for her. Thank you, Lee, for all the years of your hard work, and for all the extra years it gave me with Mom.
I fell, broke my hip bone, top of my femur; hospital, re-hab, and home in a wheelchair. I needed help in home. I answered the door and there was Lee. She is more than physical therapy. She explains the reason for every move and why it is needed to put my body in balance. I even get lists of things to do in between visits. I now stand straight, walk without pain and we are working on my osteoporosis and arthritis. Every day I thank God that Lee came through my door.
Lee played a big part in my dad's rehabilitation and keeping his positive attitude when he returned home from a rehab facility in Saint Augustine. With her help my dad regained his strength and was able to walk and do daily tasks. Overtime they established a personal relationship which was very important to my father. He looked forward to her visits and encouraging words. Later down the road when my dad's Parkinson's progressed he wanted to make a photo album of family and friends and he put Lee's picture on the front cover!
Vicki Lynn M.