Patient Testimonials

  • Jan Makovicka’s Story

    After Jan’s vehicle was t-boned at a busy intersection last June, a catscan didn’t indicate an issue. But she could no longer spell her name after a few days of rest. With her daughter’s wedding just three weeks away, Jan reasoned her pain away hoping she’d improve. Unfortunately the night of the rehearsal dinner she struggled with debilitating headaches and was sensitive to sound at the wedding.

    Her family practice physician referred her to Madonna TherapyPlus for a concussion test which proved that her continual headache over her right eye was the result of a traumatic brain injury. “Dr. LaHolt made me feel supported, and Dr. Gates gave me the most thorough eye exam of my life,” said Jan, who soon began physical, speech, occupational therapies and neuropsychology services. Jan is now able to work and reinforces the skills she learned to successfully return to normal activities.

    “Rehab is a family journey,” said Jan. “The biggest day in my recovery was when my daughter Madison joined me for a full day of my therapies.”

  • Andrea Zink's Story

    A native of Nashville, TN, Andrea Zink moved to Lincoln, Nebraska three years ago while her husband Joshua worked on his doctorate in music. On February 26, 2015 their plans almost came to a halt after an auto accident on her way from a work meeting in Omaha, which left her with extensive injuries.  At 70 mph on the interstate, her sport utility vehicle collided into the back end of a box truck that was driving about 50 mph when a lane change occurred. Andrea does not recall the impact; just waking up at Creighton University Medical Center, where she remained for two and a half months. She had severely broken her left arm, both femurs, tibia and fibula, and her right ankle. Andrea also had internal injuries to her intestinal tract/colon, a liver contusion, plus a pancreatic duct injury was discovered later.  She had also broken the talus bone in her foot, which initially led doctors to consider amputation, but that outcome was averted by an all night surgery the day of the accident. 

    A bright spot in her recovery came about a week before her discharge from Creighton. “I could not eat solid food for 48 days, so eating food again was amazing, and I knew exactly what I wanted,” said Andrea. As an excellent cook, her husband cooked up her favorite Thai dish as soon as she was able to consume food again.     

    After she transferred to Madonna, Andrea began about a month long inpatient stay, followed by outpatient visits that started in April to continue her rehabilitation. “Standing and walking without devices took a lot of work, but was very rewarding,” said Andrea, who has come a long way through her therapy.  As a runner, she had been training to participate in the Lincoln half marathon before the accident. Instead, her first visit out of Madonna was to watch her husband cross the finish line in the full marathon in an emotional finish. He dedicated his race to her by wearing a shirt saying: “26.2 for my hero: Andrea.”  

    “I appreciate the little victories and am stronger every day,” said Andrea. “It feels great to get out and do some regular activities. I even tried wheelchair tennis." She continues to celebrate accomplishments, like being recently cleared to drive and returning to her work as Special Events Manager at the Omaha Kroc Center.

  • Dee Ann Unruh’s Story

    Dee Ann Unruh of Auburn, Nebraska, drives 70 miles each way three times a week to exercise in Madonna ProActive’s aqua track. She credits aqua therapy for helping her walk again after being immobilized by rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body. Dee Ann, just 52 years old now, has had the disease for 11 years. After injuring her back from a fall in December of 2012, she developed spinal stenosis, a disorder caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal. Between that and bulging discs, mild scoliosis and general inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis, she became dependent on her husband’s assistance to get dressed, eat and shower as her condition worsened. By the fall of 2014, Dee Ann was unable to walk without the assistance of a walker.

    Her prayers were answered last December during an appointment at the Nebraska Spine and Pain Center in Lincoln. Unable to be seen by her doctor that day, a physician’s assistant recommended that Dee Ann consider trying aqua therapy at the Madonna TherapyPlus location within ProActive. Anxious to find any relief from the debilitating pain she experienced, she scheduled an appointment shortly before Christmas. “Water gave me relief from pain,” said Dee Ann of her first visit. Her heart soared with encouragement and hope. By the end January Dee Ann was able to be weaned off of the walker, and by March, the shower seat she depended on just months before, was put in storage.

    “Physical therapy has been so successful that I am not facing surgery. I joined ProActive after finishing my therapy sessions because I did not want to give this great place up,” said Dee Ann. While she has reduced her hours as a guest services agent at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, Dee Ann has maintained employment and improved her quality of life.

    As a boxer for many years, Dee Ann understands the importance of doing something you love to maintain fitness and health. “Being in the water has been a wonderful life-changing experience for me.”

  • Sandy Danek’s Story

    Sandy was in relatively good health in 2006 when she joined ProActive, but would often experience muscle tension in her neck, shoulders and chest which resulted in pain, spasms and involuntary movement. She had difficulty maintaining stamina to get through workouts and her daily activities were compromised. Numerous doctors and specialists have been unable to determine a diagnosis since.

    “About five years ago, I was referred to Madonna TherapyPlus at ProActive and began aquatic therapy sessions. I received personalized care and established an immediate bond with my therapist, Melissa. She is knowledgeable and determined, and encouraged me beyond what I felt I could accomplish.” After the prescribed sessions were completed, Sandy was given a program to maintain what she achieved and was encouraged to encouraged to consistently complete her exercises on a regular basis in order to maintain her improvement. She has followed that regimen almost every day since and has continued to see progress.

    “Some days I experience so much pain and stiffness I can hardly function, but I push myself to stick with my routine. I know that if I go and do any part of my program, I will feel better,” said Sandy. “I have developed friendships with many of the other clients at ProActive and the staff is amazing. I am always greeted enthusiastically by the front desk staff every morning at the front desk. They are anxious to help in any way and show a genuine interest in my needs. And I know I can go to any of the trainers and ask for advice.”

    “Massage complements my program, as the combination of cardio and aquatic therapy helps to move my muscles and stretch them to lessen the spasms and involuntary movements. It is convenient to have Soteria Massage adjacent to TherapyPlus within ProActive. All three offer a welcoming environment. The facilities are clean and well maintained and the staff truly cares about its clientele.”

  • Fidan Ibrahimov’s Story

    Fidan, a 14-year-old ranked tennis star, tore her ACL this past summer during a competitive tournament. Post surgery she worried that her future in the sport was compromised, but physical therapy at TherapyPlus has improved her outlook. Currently ranked 22nd  in the Missouri Valley conference, Fidan will soon be back on the tennis court to compete once again.

    Fidan described her situation and experiences at Madonna TherapyPlus.

    Late July, after I had just returned from a trip down to John Newcombes Tennis Ranch, I had a tournament to play in. I was in the finals and was playing great, but then my worst nightmare occurred. As I was running for a short backhand, I could feel my leg start giving out and it felt like my leg was separating in half. I definitely knew something was wrong but had no idea what had happened. I later found out that I tore my ACL. I had my surgery performed by Dr. Strasburger. Two days after surgery I had my first physical therapy session at Madonna TherapyPlus. There I had met Chris, and on the first day we clicked. I also worked with other therapists -Kelly, Ryan, and Doug- that were also great. The service at Madonna provided great support. They are really nice and really know what they're doing. They have helped me build my knee back to like it was so that I can come back to tennis stronger.

  • Julie Heftie’s Story

    In the midst of training for the Lincoln Marathon, Julie injured herself while out on  a run. After attempting to recover on her own, she realized she needed to seek out therapy. As a member of ProActive, she was familiar with the staff at the TherapyPlus location on-site. “My physical therapist was highly skilled in the therapy she provided, while being very motivating and uplifting to address the "psychological slump" of being injured,” said Julie. 

    In a short amount of time, she was back out there, experiencing no pain, and even took some time off her personal record.