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This ‘Connected Care Story’ involves a young man who attended treatment sessions in-clinic following a car accident.

Stephen* was in a head-on car accident one year ago. He broke many ribs and ruptured his aorta in the accident, and also suffered various other injuries throughout his body. Stephen defined himself by being a football player and was very competitive in the sport, but his doctor recommended that he be on bed rest for a year, which meant absolutely no physical activity. As a result, he had lost a significant amount of muscle mass. He had little functional status and was mentally struggling with confidence due to the loss of his athletic ability.

After being cleared by his doctor to do physical rehabilitation one year later, Stephen had a virtual assessment with one of our physiotherapists. During initial discussions, it was found that there were barriers in his home that didn’t allow him to attend virtual sessions, so in-person visits to the clinic were arranged using appointments that saw him as the only client using the gym equipment. During these sessions, everyone was wearing masks, and all of the equipment was sanitized before and after the session. During times of increased risk due to rising COVID cases, he did not come into the clinic until it was safe to do so again.

Stephen was completely dedicated to his treatment and worked hard to regain his strength. His rehabilitation program included aspects of physiotherapy and kinesiology, which focused on increasing his stability by building his leg muscles, doing balance and proprioception work, and managing any discomfort he has in his shoulders and his ribs. Since football is incredibly important to him, the physiotherapist also gradually added exercises to help with his athletic performance such as chest presses, deadlifts, and burpees.

Stephen’s physiotherapist was thrilled to see his progression towards rebuilding his body strength. He says the most fulfilling part of all of this has been seeing Stephen’s confidence return to him as he continues to see his strength increase. Stephen believes he has reached 60% of his pre-accident status, most of which has been accomplished in the last three months of in-clinic sessions. His improvement has been going so well that they have begun to introduce cardio into his exercises. While it has been challenging to monitor progress while he is wearing a mask, the team is closely monitoring his response to cardio exercise to make sure he isn’t having any negative repercussions.

Stephen’s treatment will continue for a few more months, and the goal is to have full mobility of his rib cage and spine so he is ready to play football. His physiotherapist hopes that when his treatment is complete, Stephen will have the confidence to go back into his sport with no hesitation and with the understanding that his accident is now behind him, so he can look forward to continuing to do what he loves.

*Client’s name has been changed