David A. Kell
COMPUTER PROGRAMMER/ANALYST (RETIRED)
From birth, I was afflicted with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) which caused me to have progressive weakness from the waist down. HSP impairs walking, where the knees and hips on each step are bent instead of straight, and the feet land flat instead of the heel-toe standard gait. A lifetime of walking this way, combined with obesity, caused permanent disabilities in my spine and legs. I also suffered a string of very serious health conditions over the course of a decade, including a heart attack, two fractures of the left femur, and a kidney infection that led to sepsis.
Prior to working with Dr. Travis Duro, I was totally incapacitated. At best, I could only stand (while clutching a grab bar) momentarily before my knees would crumble, leaving me collapsed on the floor.
My legs would not support me, so even if I was uninjured from a fall, I could not (from the floor) regain a sitting position and/or haul myself into bed. Travis was recommended to me as an alternative to the physical therapy (PT) outpatient services which I had been using once weekly.
After an evaluation, Travis committed us to an intense program of three sessions per week designed to restore my walking abilities over time. The key advantage was the very specific and personalized therapies Travis developed. In each of our twelve sessions each month, we worked to solidify previous progress and then add another enhancement.
For example, because my knees were a problem, I learned how to stand with my feet spread forward and backward for extra stability.
This non-standard foot positioning – tailored just for me – put an end to my frequent (daily) falls. And soon, my secure stance was the foundation for rapid progress, allowing me to master assisted walking up to 450 feet and even walking entirely unassisted. I have progressed to standing unsupported for minutes, instead of seven-seconds.
I am also back to driving again and my overall health has progressed rapidly as each of my muscle groups are being stretched and flexed every day. Besides these remarkable results, I am also impressed with how Travis’ plans for me are fine-tuned and progressive.
As I master each new skill, he has an enhancement or refinement ready to build new progress at every step. When I met Travis, I was almost completely disabled from a complex combination of lifelong and recent issues.
Now, six months later, I am close to being completely self-sufficient. I can heave my wheelchair or walker into the back of the car, run errands, and return home without anxiety.
We have come to the point where the key remaining tasks include (with canes) walking a steep downgrade, safely ascending and descending a flight of stairs, and even walking without any assistive devices whatsoever. I am incredibly grateful to have Travis as my guide towards regaining my health and mobility.
With regard to improving my physical ability, Travis Duro was positively, absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me.
In early April of 2012, while on my bi-weekly 20 mile bike ride I lost control of my bicycle, swerved diagonally across the road, went into a ditch and flipped over. I knew instantly on impact it was a serious accident. In fact, I became paralyzed and needed to undergo spinal surgery. The following two months were painful and stressful - physical and mentally - as I recuperated from surgery and started very light, minimal physical therapy. I was still mostly paralyzed and in dire straits. I then met Travis Duro, who at the time was the Director of Rehabilitation at The Rafael Convalescent Hospital.
What ensued over the next five months was a highly productive, vigorous rehab regimen that got my legs to work again, enabled me to stand and then walk a few steps with the aid of a walker and a bit human assistance, and eventually, had me walking the entire length of the corridor outside my room, a distance of over a hundred and fifty feet!
Travis pushed me hard - anyone within earshot of that corridor definitely knew the amount of pain I was experiencing. It was hell, but Travis was a true inspiration on a daily basis which helped give me the strength to keep going.
When I first went into The Rafael Hospital, I couldn’t move my hands and arms at all let alone reach anything on the table next to my bed, but under Travis's care, I began to regain motion. By the time I left hospital, I could actually take hold of and operate the TV remote control, begin to use my computer, and practice going up and down a simulated staircase.
Regaining those types of functions back gave me some serious hope for my future quality of life.Throughout all of this, Travis took precise documentation on my progress and I was told later that my progress reports gave Kaiser the ability to develop a case study about the amazing recovery and rehab I experienced under Travis.
Before working with Travis, I was completely paralyzed, but under his care – over the course of several months - I was able to regain a level of physical mobility that allowed me to return home and live life again! Travis is indeed, my miracle worker!
Py Driscoll, MD
I am an Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine doctor and I first started working with Travis Duro at the Alta Mira Recovery Program, which is a residential rehab program for the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Dr. Duro has helped me with several patients over the years using his skills with musculo-skeletal diagnoses and his unique ability to handle the sometimes co-occurring complex psychiatric overlay. Following are a couple of examples of my work with Dr. Duro.
One of my patients had a very abnormal gait, but her complaints were vague, making her condition challenging to diagnose and hence, treat. Dr. Duro was able to pinpoint three separate interacting musculo-skeletal problems and recommend specific exercises and stretches that improved her condition.
Another patient was experiencing severe pain in several body parts, but upon examination, was fine physically. Again, Dr. Duro was able to identify the issue and recommend a treatment regimen that improved the patient’s condition.
I highly recommend Dr. Duro as a physical therapist. He is kind, gentle, respectful, and easy to talk to. He also is incredibly knowledgeable and meticulous with his work.