Kevin’s Axis Adventure

Our Axis Ascent is much more than a hike up Arapahoe Basin, it’s about taking a victory lap with our clients. Some are able to reach new levels both mentally and physically that they may not have even imagined were possible at the beginning of their physical therapy journey. We love being there for the small and the big moments.

We had an incredible turnout this year with one of our largest groups to ever Summit Little Lenawee, with a total vertical gain of 2,270 feet! Those who chose to hike from the base area to Black Mountain Lodge also accomplished a rewarding climb of 750 vertical feet in just 1.8 miles. 

Each year we are inspired by our clients and their incredible stories of achievement. This year we are excited to tell you about Kevin B. In the last 2 years he has undergone multiple shoulder surgeries, bilateral knee replacements, a right foot reconstruction which forced him to learn how to walk again, and both lower back and neck fusion. Read about his journey below through his own words and learn more about our amazing Axis team who supported him through the process.

It all began in late 2019.

My left shoulder collapsed, which is very disconcerting to say the least. After a phone call to the Steadman Clinic in Vail where I had been a regular patient for a couple of years, I had an appointment almost immediately with a shoulder surgeon.

After a successful replacement of my left shoulder in mid October I had the right side done in December of 2019. Then in the first week of January 2020 while sitting on my couch, I laid against a pillow on my left side and the left shoulder dislocated. On my way to the floor in a bit of a fit, my right shoulder hit the coffee table and it also dislocated. My surgeon saw me within hours. He called the manufacturer of the implants on the spot to discuss the problem. Four days later my new shoulder replacement implants arrived, and we did it all over again, but this time with only two weeks between surgeries.

Axis Physical Therapy is world-class therapy in my opinion.

I did not coin the phrase, “Surgeons are cheerleaders after the surgery”; not true. But, it is the physical therapists that guide your path to the fullest recovery possible, following the incredible work those surgeons perform. In my life I have recovered from well over sixty orthopedic surgeries. At the time of my shoulder surgeries, therapists at Axis had already guided me through my previous knee, back and foot injuries. Without the compassionate care, expert knowledge and complete therapy plans that Axis provided and guided me through step-by-step, I could not have accomplished the outstanding recoveries I achieved in such a brief period. When my shoulders failed, I was physically ready to tackle these next challenges; UNREAL, when you think about it. Axis Physical Therapy and the world-class therapists that practice there are the motivators and healers that got me through the major recoveries of numerous prior surgeries. After my shoulders failed and the first revision surgery was completed, it was most comforting to know that I had an Axis therapist to care for my wound and start me on my path to recovery.

               Who has helped me the most? That is easy…

From the front desk staff, student therapists and business office, to the all-important therapists professionalism is the first thing that comes to mind. My first encounter with an Axis therapist was with Ami Doyle, as she guided me through bilateral knee replacements. Ami’s cheerful and welcoming spirit was one the first qualities I noticed about her and I admire it to this day. Through the following years, I have seen many of the other therapists at Axis and each one is a favorite in my heart. They all helped me heal from various injuries, however Ami has been my therapist most often, as she was during the shoulder recovery.

               I have an internal drive to recover. I have always had it, but I have learned it is better not to go it alone. Ami Doyle was a breath of fresh air when I first met her with an angry new knee. She helped me understand the path to recovery and how the little painful movements/exercises are so important for the bigger movements to develop. She did not just hand me papers of exercises and then show me the door. Instead, she worked with my injury, taught me how to strengthen and stretch hurting muscles, and guided me through the entire recovery process to graduation! Ami certainly inspired my recovery from knee replacements, but so did the atmosphere of the clinic. The camaraderie amongst the staff and the happy and joyous nature of the clinic made my therapy visits something I looked forward to.

I can honestly say, my prior (pre-Axis) physical therapy experiences had not always been pleasant, nor productive.

September 18, 2021, the morning of the Axis Ascent…

I was prepared to have one or more of my numerous body parts object to my participation in this 6th annual event at Arapahoe Basin; the first one that I was healthy enough to participate in. I was armed with a pack, water, and a book to enjoy when a body objection eventually would win out. To my surprise I was soon standing at the North Pole, the highest point on the ascent with the first group of Axis ascenters having had nothing but a wonderful time enjoying the ascent. It was amazing to stand at such a height surrounded by fellow patients and staff of Axis Physical Therapy and reflect on the Journey that brought me there.  The therapists at Axis have my deepest heartfelt thanks for all the intimate care they have given me. With their guidance my body is healing, and I can stand once again on a high peak in the Rockies! I will be forever grateful for the outstanding level of care I have received from the professionals at Axis Physical Therapy.



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