Jerry’s Story: Always On the Go, Thanks to Physical Therapy

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Jerry Frechette doesn’t like to sit still. The 71-year-old Middletown man is an avid golfer and loves outdoor activity. “I drive my neighbors crazy. I’m always outside doing something,” he laughed.

Since the mid-1990s, some physical challenges hindered Frechette’s get-up-and-go pace. Frechette suffered arthritis in both knees and had tried multiple treatments for the condition. By 2010, the discomfort reached a peak. “The only thing that was helping was the cortisone,” he says.

Frechette sought the care of Matthew Lawless, MD, of Premier Orthopedics, part of Premier Physician Network, and Miami Valley Hospital for a more aggressive treatment — bilateral knee replacement.

“I said, ‘I’ve been putting up with this for 20 years and I’m tired of it,’” says Frechette. “I wanted to do both (knees) from the get-go.”

Frechette was immediately impressed with the attention to detail and preparation the caregivers at Miami Valley Hospital gave to his treatment, including a joint class prior to his procedure in which he learned what was ahead and what he could expect.

“I don’t know many other hospitals that do that,” he says.

That professional, personable care continued through Frechette’s hospital stay even, he says, to the moment after his surgery when he awoke to find his physical therapist already at his side.

“He was right there by my bedside,” says Frechette. “You get great attention at Miami Valley Hospital. I can’t emphasize that enough. I never had to press my buzzer once, the nurses were in there all the time.”

Frechette says his physical therapist guided him through some challenging moments in recovery when he discovered his body’s limits and capabilities.

“I work out three to four times a week at the gym, so I thought I had my legs strengthened, but I wasn’t even close,” says Frechette. “The little things that you do normally, you can’t do normally anymore.”

The treatment didn’t end when Frechette left the hospital. Home visits were set up in the weeks after Frechette’s surgery, and his caregivers let him know that he was in the driver’s seat when it came to recovery.

“They instruct you how to take care of yourself as best you can,” he says.

And, the personal touch didn’t stop either. The day Frechette came home from the hospital, he received a special visitor – the physical therapist who was at Frechette’s bedside after surgery.

“It was something he did (himself), not something he had to do,” says Frechette.

Now back into his routine and out of discomfort, Frechette says he’s grateful to the caregivers of Miami Valley Hospital for their attention and treatment.

“If you want professional attention, qualified attention, unselfish attention, you want to go to Miami Valley Hospital,” says Frechette.

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