Stories

Ryan McElgunn, 39, never thought that as a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute he would one day be a patient. Ryan has worked for St. Luke’s since 2009 in both inpatient and outpatient settings, helping patients recover from spinal cord i

Ed Hamilton was asked where he would like to go for his rehabilitation therapy, and he chose St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. “I know how they work with you,” he says. And even though the therapy may be difficult, Ed says it pays off in the end."

“It’s a straight out miracle,” says Nathan, Griffin’s dad. At just two years old, Griffin Stevens is one tough little boy.  After falling out of a stationary truck, Griffin suffered a skull fracture. Griffin was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and lat

Dick Hilton had the scare of a lifetime. What started as making a pot of coffee turned into Dick’s left leg shaking and him falling to the floor, pinning his right arm underneath his body. Dick had suffered a stroke. Conscious, but unable to move he lay helpless on the kit

Kate Odorizzi 480 359 In 2012, Southwest Airlines landed at the St. Luke’s Community in Spokane, Washington, a 2,200 square foot real-life therapy area at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute dedicated to helping people recover after an injury or illness. A portion of a fuselage sponsored by Southwe

Thomas Stewart Not giving up is important to Thomas Stewart after an injury sent him to the hospital then St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. In July 2010, Thomas was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was helping get a beached dock back into the water. He and his family tied the dock to their boat and

Dennis Meyers Dennis Meyers injured both his upper and lower spine while on the job at a local manufacturing company. His injuries and need for rehabilitation resulted in a referral to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, where he spent one month enrolled in the Structured Intensive Multidisciplinary Pain Pro

Jerry Larson Jerry Larson was referred to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute after being advised to start exercising by his doctor to be a candidate for a heart catheterization. Jerry did what was recommended and began exercising three times a week as part of his Cardiac Rehabilitation therapy at St. Luke’s

Ryan McNeice "St. Luke’s is miraculous. They are phenomenal," he said. "I just couldn’t say enough positive things about St. Luke’s." Just a couple weeks earlier McNeice, who’d run a half marathon the previous summer, noticed he didn’t have normal dexterity in his hands while typing. By the end of the day h

Harry Lewis Ten years ago, Harry Lewis, then 60, received a life-changing MRI telling him that he had a herniated disc and he needed surgery to abate the pain and numbness in his right leg. He went into surgery in April 2002 at 310 pounds, but due to stress gained an additional 90 pounds by the following yea

Libby McDonaldIn April 2011 Libby McDonald tripped on a step in her home and launched across the room. “I hit the corner of a table and down I went,” she said. “I knew I was injured. I could only use

Travis GonderSometimes, just when you think you have life figured out it throws you a curve ball. That’s what happened to Travis Gonder. Living his dream job, Travis was a military firefighter with the United States Air Force stationed in

Baling alfalfa hay on his cattle ranch near Rice, Washington, a farming accident left Ryan Esvelt with a smashed vertebrae in his spine, paralyzing him from the waist down.

When four year old Aliondra Cady got sick and didn’t get better, her mom, Bonnie Garrison, knew something was gravely wrong.

Born with a congenital birth defect, two of Leonard Pielli’s vertebrae were fused together.  Now 71, the defect had taken its toll.

“When I first got to St. Luke’s in a wheelchair, I couldn’t push it with my right arm — it would keep falling off the wheel,” Carol recalled. “I went in circles because I had one strong leg and one strong arm."

John Fisher injured his back lifting weights. He had a disketomy but after three years had to retire from his job as a diplomat with the U.S. Embassy in Thailand because of the back pain. Returning to

During a workplace injury in 2005, Keith Schwartz received two compression fractures in his spine.The back trauma led to chronic pain, spasms and burning sensations that persisted through a host of treatments. He tried physical therapy,chiropractic care, massage therapy

After a waterskiing injury, vascular surgeon Dr. Gregory Luna had two spinal surgeries and a four level neck fusion over the next two years.While he was left with some pain, for several years was able to control the

After rupturing a disk in his lower back, retired cardiologist Dr. Terrance Judge had a diskectomy and fusion. The surgery was successful and he returned to his active lifestyle, which included skiing, tennis and flying.But about two years

When Ronnie Grigsby arrived at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute it was the sixth hospital he had been to since his traumatic brain injury (TBI) and broken neck.

As a women’s health therapist I was aware of the valuable work that specially trained therapists provide for women recovering from breast cancer. However, it all became more personal when

Randy Helt had been around heavy equipment his whole life, so when the throttle on the bulldozer he was driving in September 2007 malfunctioned, it caused an accident that nearly killed him.

Right after her last surgery in summer of 09, Glidden went straight to St. Luke’s inpatient program. As part of her discharge plan, Glidden transferred to St. Luke’s valley outpatient clinic where she had a combination of pool and land therapy.

 

While working as a training specialist with developmentally disabled adults, Sandra Lawson sustained a painful neck injury when a client suddenly grabbed her by the hair and yanked her to the ground. The injury caused vertigo and constant pain,

Nothing was working after a car accident left Cindy Roth with chronic pain – until visiting Steven R. Goodman, MD for Intramuscular Stimulation therapy at St. Luke’s Physiatry Practice.

After waking up from a coma, Logan Olson had to relearn everything and was upset that life would never be the same again. With the help of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institution, Logan learned not only how to survive, but

 For Shirley Phillips, the idea of ending her cardiac rehabilitation at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute was bittersweet. She was excited about the progress she had made, and the opportunities that faced her, but at the same time was

At the age of 64, Larry Miller has been through cardiac rehabilitation at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute twice. Not because it didn’t work – but because it worked so well.

After several months of headaches and flu-like symptoms, Dr. Michael Tate would come home exhausted. It wasn’t until he looked at the ceiling fan and it appeared to be on the wall, that he realized something was gravely wrong.

During the final leg of a weeklong 2200 mile motorcycle trip, Ben Goodman, 30, wiped out in the beautiful and remote mountains of Idaho near Lolo Pass on August 23, 2008. Goodman doesn’t remember loosing control of the motorcycle.

Two traumatic back injuries left Ron Amsden suffering from severe pain until he came to St. Luke’s.

Chad Church graduated from the pain and neuromuscular outpatient programs in Spring, 2007. He and his wife, Lynnette, credit the multidisciplinary approach at St. Luke’s for his success.

When 10 year old Michael Jensen was attacked by three American bulldogs near his home in the summer of 2007, he suffered serious injuries to the right side of his face, left arm and elbow and both legs.

The chance to compete in the 2007 World Senior Games spurred Bill Smithpeters, 77, to seek therapy for his chronic back pain.

With osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease, Helen Bonsor has had more than her share of pain, back and joint problems.

Painkillers were not the long term answer. Bill Heitzman only wishes he had come sooner to the pain program at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.

Jolen Stewart wanted to have a baby, but before getting pregnant she wanted to get her health in order and set good habits that would last.

Tom Pitzer is not your typical cardiac rehabilitation patient, but when this long time marathon runner collapsed at the finish line of Bloomsday, that fate changed.

Father’s day should be a time of celebration, love and laughter. But for Phil Sandifur, the father of 2½ year old son and expecting a new little girl, June 19, 2005 wasn’t such a good day. Following a swimming

Rhenn Casto hurt his back while moving heavy block, resulting in two perforated disks and a lot of pain. Over the next three years Casto tried a variety of treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic care and cortisone shots.

For years Peter Johnson’s life revolved around the piano. He’d earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and was working on his master’s degree with the goal to play professionally when his hands started to hurt.

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