Therapy Services Gets Injured Woman Back on Her Feet

November 22, 2013

Left to right: Christa Femmer, Carolina Sherrer, RN,

and Ashley Laughlin, therapy tech

Christa Femmer never thought she’d be giving thanks for physical therapy at 60 years old. But when you consider what she’s been through, life is now a walk in the park.

“They had to cut me out of the car,” she recalled. Christa and her husband were driving home in early 2011 when it began to sleet. “I started to slow down but the lady on the other side did not. She hit me head-on in my jeep. I ended up with the motor sitting in my lap.”

Christa suffered 14 broken bones, five rib fractures and a broken neck and back. “My hip was ripped out,” she said. A compound fracture in her right leg led to gangrene down to her foot. “They had to amputate my leg. The infection also went into my heart and gave me kidney failure.”

Christa spent six and a half months in the hospital followed by therapy at her home in Dixon, Missouri. Nearly a year after her devastating crash, Christa was equipped with a prosthetic leg.

“I was scared to death the first time I made four steps. I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad. My mind went through so many emotions. Every day I pushed myself a little bit harder.”

With prayers and will power, Christa vowed to look forward. “When I found out that they had rehab at Mercy in St. Robert, I had my doctor get me a prescription. And I found out they have a program where you can continue that rehab in additional phases.”

Three times a week, Christa travels 20 miles to take part in Mercy’s maintenance rehabilitation program.

“When she first came to therapy, she was in a wheelchair for all mobility and required assistance for all transferring and her normal activities of daily living,” said Ann Pondrom, director of therapy services. “Now she walks independently with a walker and is able to do things for herself. “

“You can switch up your routine a little bit,” added Christa. “It helps me a lot. They’re very professional and very nice. I kind of get aggravated when I don’t get to go.”

“She’s a very inspirational person,” said Pondrom. “Nothing has stopped her or will stop her. You will not hear her say ‘I can’t.’ This holiday season, we’re giving thanks for her spirit.”

Mercy Hospital Lebanon Therapy Services – St. Robert has therapists trained to care for patients of all ages, from children to seniors.  They are able to treat a wide range of orthopedic, neurological, and musculoskeletal injuries. Call (573) 336-8991 to set up an appointment.