Fyzical Therapy JUNE 2018

3 Awesome Dads

Fathers Who Put Their Lives on the Line for Their Kids

Greg threw rocks until it fled. His son was hurt but made a full recovery in the hospital over the coming weeks.

Brian Munn gave his son a liver transplant.

Artur Magomedov saved his daughters from ISIS.

When doctors discovered that baby Caleb Munn had a rare disease called biliary atresia, they told his parents that he was unlikely to survive past age 2 without a liver transplant. Luckily, his father was a perfect match, and he eagerly donated part of his liver in March of 2015 to save his son’s life.

Artur Magomedov was devastated to discover that his wife had taken his 3- and 10-year-old daughters from their home in Dagestan under the cover of night, flown to Turkey, and crossed into Syria to join ISIS. But he resolved to get his kids back. After a long, hazardous journey, he arrived in Tabqa to embrace his two daughters. To leave the caliphate — under penalty of death — they hitched a ride to the border one night and crawled along a railway line until they were within 70 meters of the border. Then they ran under fire from Turkish border guards until they could scramble into tall grasses. After some help from the Russian consulate in Istanbul, they made it back home, together again and safe.

Greg Alexander battled a bear for his son’s life.

While camping in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greg Alexander was startled awake at dawn by the screams of his 16-year-old son, Gabriel. He rushed out of his hammock to see a black bear dragging his son away by the head. Without hesitation, he kicked the beast in the side, and when that didn’t work, he leapt onto its back and started punching it in the face. When the bear finally released Gabriel,

How PT Jennifer Alcala Embodies the HealthMasters Ideal A Dedication to Growth

At HealthMasters, we pride ourselves on our ability to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients, but we also ensure that we never rest on our laurels. Instead, we encourage ongoing education and improvement in all of our physical therapists and PTAs, constantly equipping our experts with new tools to provide patients with speedy, powerful, and meaningful recovery. Perhaps no one embodies this spirit of personal and professional growth better than Jennifer Alcala, who right now is in the midst of an intensive fellowship program through Evidence in Motion. Aside from her regular patient load, she’s taken on a massive amount of work, giving up her weekdays to study and many of her weekends to head to San Antonio to participate in labs and further educational events. “It’s helped me to take on more of a manual approach to therapy,” she says. “It’s all about refining my techniques, as well as understanding more about the science of pain and how to encourage our patients to manage it more effectively.” Before Jennifer stepped into the physical therapy career, she was on track to become a pharmacist. But when her grandfather had a sudden stroke, she realized the immense benefits that physical

therapy could have for patients. “I used to hang out with him at the nursing home,” she says. “During his recovery treatment, he went

through a ton of physical therapy, and I got to witness firsthand how his therapists built a personal relationship with him while guiding him back to health. It was really powerful to see.” She began her career with HealthMasters, then left for a stint at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. But she missed the guidance of Louis Zuniga and the outpatient approach to therapy. “Louis is a wonderful individual to work for,” she says, “pushing us at every turn to pursue ways to grow our abilities.” Lately, most of her time outside the clinic has been dedicated to her studies, but when she gets a brief break, she enjoys working out, playing basketball, and hanging out with her family, especially her younger brothers, who live in town. We’re so appreciative of all that Jennifer has done for HealthMasters in her nearly five years of working with us. We’ve seen her already-considerable skills grow with continued study, and can’t wait to see all the fantastic things she accomplishes with her patients moving forward!

2 • healthmasterspt.com


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