Jessica Mundy doesn’t take her rehabilitation for her recently repaired anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear lightly. After tearing it during lacrosse practice on Feb. 25, the 14-year-old sophomore endured a long wait when her March 21 surgery was postponed after the governor cancelled nonessential surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was finally able to have Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kerwyn Jones repair her knee on May 4, the first day of operation for the GOJO Outpatient Surgery remobilization. Read more about that here.
Now, with surgery behind her, this active teen is doing therapy at our Massillon Health Center. Just as it was with her surgery, some procedures for rehabilitation patients have changed to ensure the safety of the patients and staff during the pandemic. But physical therapist Liz Gaut is still able to effectively work with Jessica twice a week with the hopes that she can return to the field this fall to play her flute with the Green High School Marching Band.
“Everything is going great, and Liz is doing a wonderful job with Jessica in rehab,” said Rebecca Mundy, Jessica’s mom. “And we are adjusting to the new norm with all the precautions.”
Therapy patients notice one big difference right away. As they are greeted at the office, patients and their parents have their temperature taken upon arrival at a screening station located right inside the lobby door.
Other heightened health and safety precautions at the Massillon Health Center include:
- Waiting room signs on chairs remind people of the 6 foot social distancing requirements and that families should sit together in one set of chairs.
- Waiting room gets cleaned throughout the day by staff.
- Markings on the floor help families navigate social distancing at registration and check-out desks. Also, acrylic barriers at both desks help separate staff from patient families.
- Patients are taken to the treatment areas right away, to decrease the number of people in the waiting room.
- Therapy staff prepares equipment and toys for each patient. The treatment area and equipment are cleaned after each patient.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the friendly, engaging rehabilitation services offered by therapist Gaut.
“Liz is very kind and sweet person,” said Rebecca. “You can really tell that she cares about people getting better and enjoys helping them. And the online instructions really help so you have a reference when you go home, not just a paper.”
Jessica is already getting around so much better and attends therapy twice a week. She also has periodic check ins with Dr. Jones to ensure she’s back on the road to recovery.
“We are not having to use crutches now and she is doing so much better with walking,” said Rebecca.
Read more about how Akron Children’s Hospital is keeping patient families and staff safe during the pandemic here.