United Helpers Aids Canton Woman in Returning to Her Feet



CANTON – It was a typical autumn day in the horse barns. People were feeding horses and cleaning stalls when suddenly one of the women working in the barn fell while going over a fence inside the barn.

Leslie Clark, a retired school psychologist said she cleared the fence without any problem, the problems came on her landing.

“The jump was great, but then I hit the ground, and said, “This is bad, somebody call 911,” Ms. Clark recalled as she was wrapping up a recent physical therapy appointment at United Helpers Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Canton.

The bad landing resulted in a fracture of her tibial plateau. Ms. Clark explained that the tibial plateau is the flat part on the top of your shin bone and an essential part of how your knees operate.

She then spent the next month and a half recovering from her injury and waiting to be well enough to begin attending physical therapy.

“I came here as soon as I could,” Ms. Clark said. “When I first came in I was non-weight bearing. I couldn’t even lift my leg. I really had to start from ground zero.”

Physical Therapist Megan Morrison conducted an initial assessment of her injuries, and Ms. Clark said that proved to be an eye opening experience.

“Megan first assessed me when I came in and that was a real revelation as to how far I had to go,” she said.

Progress came quickly though, and Physical Therapy Assistant Jena Cryderman said that’s thanks in large part to Ms. Clark’s work ethic and approach to therapy.

“I definitely don’t have to worry about her cheating on her exercises,” Ms. Cryderman said, to which Ms. Clark replied, “When you can’t walk for 12 weeks, that’s plenty incentive to get better.”

When Ms. Clark began physical therapy in November she was coming three days a week, but eventually the number of appointments was reduced to twice per week.

“I’ve been trying to think of some words to describe my experience here and the one that keeps coming to mind is encouragement,” Ms. Clark said. “When you first come in, it’s kind of like a deer in the headlights moment, but they make therapy fun, which is important, because it can be kind of scary.”

When asked if she would recommend Maplewood to others in need physical therapy, she said she would, noting it’s important for people to know they have a choice of where to go for physical therapy.

“Every week I have been here I have seen progress, both physically and emotionally,” she said. “If you need therapy this is where you want to be.”

Another selling point for Ms. Clark was the fact she can return to use the exercise equipment at Maplewood, even when her therapy is complete.

For more information on therapy services at Maplewood, contact (315) 386-4541. For therapy services at RiverLedge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Ogdensburg, contact (315) 393-0730. You may also like United Helpers on Facebook or visit www.unitedhelpers.org.

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