For world champion powerlifter Joseph Ferrantelli, fitness isn’t just a matter of hitting the gym one or two times a week, it is a way of life. As a competitive weightlifter and bodybuilder, Joseph instilled the love of weightlifting in his family — his sons Mike and Joe Jr. grew to be competitive powerlifters, as well.
Joseph earned 40 medals and trophies during his tenure as a competitive weightlifter, and didn’t stop once he retired from the Tarpon Springs (Fla.) Police Department. Even at the age of 70 — with several world records under his belt — he competed at the International Powerlifting Federation World Masters Bench Press Championships in Northumberland, England.
Last summer at the age of 72, Joseph experienced a serious health setback when he suffered a severe stroke, which rendered him unable to effectively communicate or walk. After watching his progress in the several months after the stroke, Joseph’s physicians determined that he had reached maximum medical improvement.
At that point, Joseph was on a feeding tube and completely confined to his bed in his assisted living facility. At his current condition, living at home with his family would have been nearly impossible. Joseph’s son, Joe Jr., a chiropractor, knew his father had the strength to improve and refused to accept that he would be bound to his bed.
Joe Jr. remembered seeing a PT Solutions clinic in his neighborhood. After researching the physical therapy practice, Joe set out to get his dad mobile again. They met with physical therapist Stacey Ingram, clinic director at the Trinity, Fla. location. Stacey has been both a healthcare professional and coach for Joseph.
After working with Stacey for several months, Joseph reached the first milestones in his recovery. He was able to hold himself up in his wheelchair and to swallow on his own. That paved the way for his medical team to remove his feeding tube.
The physical therapy sessions were tough, but Joseph worked diligently three days a week in the clinic to regain his mobility. With assistance, Joseph is now able to get on his feet and take steps with his son and physical therapist by his side for balance. After almost a year off from the gym, Joseph has since returned to the gym floor on his off days from physical therapy, completing his prescribed exercises with his sons to regain his balance and strength.
Joe Jr. said watching his father go from completely bedridden to taking steps is a testament to the commitment PT Solutions has with their patients.
“Stacey Ingram has been such a motivator for my dad,” Joe Jr. said. “There is something different about Stacey’s motivation and encouragement. Stacey saw progress in my dad and has helped him in his recovery. He has helped him literally every step of the way.”
Joseph has good days but some days require more inner strength to get through his exercises. Without PT Solutions, Joe Jr. says that his father would not be where he is today. Joseph is making progress every day in his recovery so that he might someday be able to return home to his family.
Joe Jr. wants those who have family members suffering from the effects of strokes to know that no matter what “don’t give up on them.” Joe Jr. encourages families to seek out physical therapists like Stacey who are able to see the potential of their patients.
With the help of PT Solutions, Joseph was able to do what his physicians thought he would never be able to do: walk again. For this powerlifter, the odds were stacked against him like weights on a barbell, but Joseph was strong enough to lift it.
If you or a family member has a limited range of motion due to the results of a stroke, PT Solutions can help in your recovery. Call us at 1-844-REHAB04 or come into one of our clinics today.