A Second Chance at an Active Life

A young man lifting weights

Therapeutic Associates



20-year-old Lee Reynolds gets a second chance at an active life.

My name is Lee Reynolds, and I am a living testimony to Tony Rocklin MSPT’s Cardio-Orthopedic Rehabilitation Program at TAI Downtown Portland Physical Therapy.

I never thought I would be a participant in any type of cardiac-orthopedic program, because I was a young, healthy, and active person. I used to train extensively in Mix Martial Arts, Power Lifting, and Olympic Lifting four to six days a week. I also ate a healthy diet that consisted of almost all organic and natural foods. Even with all of that, I developed a life-threatening case of cardiomyopathy.

Shortly after my 20th birthday I ended up at the Providence Hospital in Newberg, OR. They found that my heart had grown to about the size of my lungs, so they sent me to Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). I stayed in the hospital over seven months and had 28 surgeries, including a heart transplant. During that time I was unable to get out of bed, which, needless to say, built up a plethora of musculoskeletal restrictions.

When I first got home from the hospital I suffered from pain in my shoulders and back. One of my physicians referred me to a physical therapist named Tony Rocklin. I was a bit skeptical to see him, but she told me that Tony was a Certified Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapist and that he, too, was a young athlete who had open-heart surgery.

At my first visit to TAI Downtown Portland, Tony completed my Initial Evaluation and took time to talk to me about what I had been through and my goals for recovery. He performed many tests to assess how I was moving and what areas might be restricted. After my examination, Tony explained to me the game plan on how we would tackle the list of musculoskeletal problems.

"After going through so much physical and emotional trauma in the hospital, I was excited that there was a treatment program that would help me get back a part of my life I thought I’d lost forever."

My treatments included, among other things, manual therapy to gently and safely release some of the joint and soft-tissue tightness and therapeutic exercises designed specifically to promote increased movement with less pain. These really helped me feel better during the week, and I could tell I was working hard, but not too hard. Tony was sensitive about monitoring my physical comfort as well as my blood pressure. He made me feel very comfortable by communicating with me and my physicians throughout the process.

After going through so much physical and emotional trauma in the hospital, I was excited that there was a treatment program that would help me get back a part of my life I thought I’d lost forever. Tony helped me eliminate the physical ailments and pain that I sustained while going through surgeries and periods of recovery, while also focusing on my heart and lung conditioning. I have learned how to move better, feel better, and continue to take care of myself. The care provided by Tony and his staff, combined with their incredible experience, made this entire process very easy and relaxing.

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