Monday, April 24, 2017

My OT Story: Martha: By Lisa Deshaies

Martha was 13 years old when she became ill with meningococcal meningitis. This led to amputations of both arms below the elbow & both legs below the knee as well as scarring on much of her body. She received extensive OT during inpatient rehabilitation using activity modification, assistive devices, & prosthetic training to allow her to go back to playing with her Barbie dolls, caring for herself, & attending school. Martha received outpatient OT on numerous occasions as a young adult to help her relearn how to accomplish daily tasks when she switched from body-powered to myoelectric arm prostheses, and to help her meet the challenges of attending college and driving a car. Martha is now in her 30s, employed full-time as a service coordinator for Orange County Regional Center, and happily married. I have been touched and honored that she has invited me to celebrate milestones with her over the years including her school graduations and her recent wedding. Martha is an inspiring example of OT helping people live life to the fullest.

By Lisa Deshaies, OTR/L, CHT

MY OT Story: A Firefighter: By Lisa Arroyo

This firefighter was involved in an electrical burn resulting in an above elbow amputation. After being released from a burn center he was seen for ADL’s, prosthetic training, burn care, work re-entry and then eventually on the job training. He returned to full duty and soon thereafter promoted to engineer and taught CPR as well. He was a father of 3 children and was an inspiration to all those that were in the clinic and was often a ‘cheerleader’ encouraging other patients on a regular basis. He continues to work and lead a very active lifestyle participating in a gym program 3 days a week. Although it was over 10 years since his injury he recently received an i-limb prosthetic by touch bionics; and asked to have his OT attend his training and become certified as well. He has been a true advocate for therapy and even more for OT. He was a patient that participated in various treatment settings with OT as his primary provider source.

 By: Lisa Arroyo, OTR/L, CHT, Hand Therapy Specialist

My OT Story: By Shanti Malladi

 A smiling person approached me at the OTAC Spring Symposium and asked me if I recognized her. The face looked familiar but after seeing her mother I remembered this former patient of mine. The mother thanked me for helping her child during her first few years of development. She thanked all the OTs who also helped in the process. The mother cried as she hugged me and said she will never forget all that OT did. I too had tears of joy. Because of her positive experiences, the child is now pursuing an OT degree! The mother has already invited me to the graduation in 2 years. This made me realize why I became an OT- to not only help people with various abilities but to be rewarded like this.  

By: Shanti Malladi  

My OT Story: By Janyce Johnson

The ultimate therapeutic use of self: I am an OT with over thirty years of experience in pediatrics. I adopted an infant out of foster care who was prenatally substance and probably trauma exposed… who is now 18 and attending junior college and experiencing part-time employment… who will never stop being great! OT is my life!

By: Janyce Johnson

My OT Story: By Bao Hoang

My sister introduced me to occupational therapy. I have always wanted to work in the healthcare field and OT was the perfect match. I currently study at West Coast University in Los Angeles and it is one of the best decisions I have made. The environment and faculty definitely motivates and inspires me to learn and be at my best.

 By: Bao Hoang

My OT story: By Erik Listou

To help everyone “live in place”, occupational therapists are vital! When a client has needs due to age or a condition, an interprofessional network is needed. Occupational therapists are critical in working with designers, contractors, childproofers, product manufacturers, and finance experts to ensure success!

 By: Erik Listou

My OT story: By Judy Packard

Over thirty years ago I took a career guidance class that recommended occupational therapy as perfect for me. Since I was already a teacher, I knew I wanted to work with children. I have worked with premature infants, children in school, and now with children at Regional Center. I started my own non-profit and love the freedom and flexibility that OT has allowed me. It’s a great profession!

Judy Packard