We asked Alex, one of our physical therapists, to tell us a little bit about his job and the patients he serves at the Tebow CURE Hospital in the Philippines. Here’s what he had to say.
What I enjoy most about physical therapy is the opportunity to work with patients one-on-one. Our job is to teach patients and parents how to help themselves heal after surgery or injury, but if you listen to their stories, you’ll end up learning important life lessons from them, too. Their stories will keep your feet on the ground and help you appreciate things in life you might ignore otherwise.
It’s so rewarding to watch their progress, to see a proud smile on a child who is wearing shoes for the first time.
These kids are blessed with an irrepressible attitude in life. I have yet to meet one patient who has blamed God for their disability.
That doesn’t mean it’s always easy work. Once, I worked with a 12-year-old boy who suffered a broken leg in a car accident. He was very stubborn and ignored us in every possible way. He got on my nerves because his injury was mild compared to some of our other patients. Later that afternoon I had a chance to talk to the missionary who brought him to Tebow CURE, and once I heard his story, I was ashamed of the assumptions I made.
This boy had been at a hospital for 10 days with a broken leg and was ignored because he couldn’t pay for surgery.
I imagined the pain he was in, but even worse, the trauma of hoping that people at the hospital would help him, and they didn’t. He lost trust in people like me because of what he experienced there. Every time I meet new patients, I think of his story. It helps bring out the best in me as I serve them.
Nicole is a very sweet girl and she is always excited about coming to physical therapy. She loves going to school; she’s always proud of her uniform and always comes in with a smile on her face. We work on her writing because that’s what she likes the most.
I remember when one of her cousins came to Tebow CURE to have spine surgery for scoliosis. I asked her to write a letter for her cousin. Her letter said,
“Don‘t worry about the surgery because the nurses and doctors are very nice and will take care of you.”
Hearing this compliment from her really means something to us.
As physical therapists, our hope is to guide patients and help them relearn how to do the things they loved to do. We are grateful to be part of this CURE vision. We always see our patients as the center of everything we do.
We believe that God is using us as an extension of His love for these kids.