Patient Success Stories

The road to recovery starts here! Learn more about us from our patients.

Raquelle Kabatsky

"I was hooked immediately." Raquelle began taking opioids after a tractor-trailer rear-ended her car, causing back pain. And like so many others, she became addicted to the medication that was supposed to help. It started her down a dark path; she lost friends and family relationships. She was unemployed.

Thankfully, Raquelle's story doesn't end there. She got into treatment for drug addiction and then discovered a beacon of hope to address her pain without using opioids: physical therapy. Things were finally looking up.

Unfortunately, that's when Raquelle was thrown another curve ball. She was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) and myofascial pelvic pain (a condition that causes chronic musculoskeletal pain in the pelvic floor). But this time, Raquelle knew where to turn for help.

Watch as Raquelle shares her inspirational story of strength, healing, resilience and the power of pelvic health physical therapy.

Raquelle Kabatsky’s Patient Success Story

Play the accessible version of the “Raquelle Kabatsky’s Patient Success Story” video

SSM Health Physical Therapy and NovaCare Rehabilitation are part of the Select Medical Outpatient Division family of brands.


"Amalia enjoys climbing on cushions, story time and chasing the dog. [But] Amalia was born with tension on one side of her body (torticollis). She had a hard time looking around, lifting her head in tummy time, and sleeping safely on her back. The most important thing [for her] to be able to do again was to grow and learn without the extra tightness and limits in movement. [Physical therapist] Courtney Davis quickly helped us reach confidence in tummy time, rolling over, looking around, and finally belly crawling and sitting! Courtney was very patient and understanding when Amalia had hard days... and gave plenty of ideas for reaching goals at home. She even became a favorite person for Amalia. Amalia feels great now and is getting ready to crawl and stand any day now!”

These kind sentiments were courtesy of Chelsea, mother of Amalia, regarding the treatment Amalia received from Courtney Davis (Croy), P.T., DPT at our Dardenne Prairie, Missouri center.  It’s so great to see Amalia feeling better!

Brian Ahr

I've played soccer since I was three years old. Due to an unrelated back injury, I knew that my senior high school season would be my last of competitive soccer. My goal was to finish my high school season without injuries, and of course, win the state championship.

Things were going well. I only missed a few games at the end of the year due to my back injury and we entered the playoffs undefeated. During the first half of our state quarterfinal soccer game, I hit knees with another player and went down to the ground. I looked at my knee and knew the injury wasn't good.

Our team trainer and doctor immediately came onto the field and told me my patella (kneecap) was dislocated. I was lucky they were able to put it back in place immediately and helped me off the field, but I really thought my final soccer season was over early.

We won the game that day and I made it my goal to play in our state semi-final game only six days away. My doctor set up physical therapy at SSM Health Physical Therapy first thing on Monday morning. When I walked in, I was limping badly, not bending my knee.

After just one session of physical therapy, I left in a more normal walking pattern. I went to physical therapy every day that week and the therapists helped me perform knee range of motion exercises and use modalities to help with the pain and inflammation. By Wednesday afternoon, I was jogging and doing box jumps. By Thursday evening, when my coach had to decide if I could play the next day, I was able to participate in a full soccer practice while wearing my knee brace.

I owe my success in being able to play again to the therapists who worked with me to meet my goal and my doctor who followed my progress every day. And yes, I went on to play the entire game in both the state semi-finals and finals. But the best part is that we won the State Championship!


Joseph Weber

"On June 6, 2019, I entered the ER for help to evaluate my condition of falling. My legs would tingle, then tighten, then go numb and I would fall without notice. After many tests, X-rays, MRl scans, etc., further examinations were needed by specialists. Injection specialists said I could not be helped and surgery was recommended. A surgery date was set for August 27, 2019, and was successful, removing built up arthritis for the nerves to expand and function. However, an infection set in and another surgery was scheduled. After mending in the rehab hospital, I had surgery in the lower back to mend a disk that had broken off and rods and supports were screwed into the pelvis. I went back to the rehab hospital before a final surgery in my neck to add supports and clean out arthritis. This improved my balance tremendously and I finally was released on December 15, 2019.

It was so good to be home; however, I could not walk! I made improvements with home care therapists, but I was not walking independently. In February 2020 I was approved by insurance to address more physical therapy. Jennifer Schukar was assigned as my therapist. I told Jennifer my goal was to walk again. I was in a wheelchair, then a walker at the time.

Jennifer is an excellent therapist for me. She knows what is needed based on my condition and has selected and organized a set of therapeutic exercises. She helped me to build strength, balance and to hold my weight for walking. Slowly but surely, we made steps to achieve my goal.

I remember vividly that day she wanted me to use a cane. She demonstrated different ways the cane can be used. I followed her directions and I was walking on my own. What a day!

I can’t thank Jennifer enough for her encouragement, praise, patience, professionalism and interest in me as a client. In working together, I have achieved much since those days at the hospital. Thank you, Jennifer!"


Ed Rahe

"I would like to thank all of the staff at the SSM Health Day Institute in Arnold who made my first post-amputation walk on the beach possible. They know who they are! I would like to give a shout out to my primary therapists, Gretchen, P.T., and Alysia, O.T. It definitely takes more energy, coordination and strength to walk on a sandy beach. You folks got me there. Next year, parasailing."

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