One day while working, Gene Perna had an industrial accident. He fell head first from the ceiling to a metal railing and then the concrete floor. He had a fractured skull, fractured pelvis in four places, injuries to three vertebrae in his lower back, bulging discs, and an injury to his shoulder. Doctors told him he had only a 15% chance of walking. Gene needed inpatient transitional care, and chose Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center.
When Gene told his therapists of the small chance doctors gave him of walking, Mary Kettle, Gene’s physical therapy assistant said, “Doctors work with tests and X-rays. We work with people.” Gene’s physical therapists, and Mary worked with Gene every day and gave him hope that he could beat the odds.
After being discharged, Gene still had a long way to go. He began outpatient treatment close to home at Allied’s Taylor Rehab Center. There he works with Roxanne Wnuk, PT, and Ann Marie Trauger, PT, OCS. These therapists worked with Gene each week building up his strength and endurance, and helping him regain his sense of balance, and slowly but surely, relearn to walk.
“It’s a passion for them, said Gene of Roxanne and Ann Marie. When you’re down they bring you up. When you think you can’t do any more, they encourage you.”
Gene walks today without a wheelchair, walker, cane, or even a noticeable limp. Although he’s not able to return to his career due to its physical demands, he is able to do almost everything he ever did, and enjoys his independence. He says, “Allied talks about miracles in rehab. I am living, breathing proof of a miracle.”