“Gone Fishing” – Physical Therapy Helps Lenoir City Man Return to Favorite Hobby

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Clyde Martin, a retired physician, faced a series of health challenges that threatened to derail his active lifestyle. While battling chronic respiratory failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Clyde underwent a right total hip replacement in August 2023, then was admitted to the hospital in mid-November for a small bowel obstruction. He subsequently developed pneumonia and acute respiratory failure, complicating his recovery even further. But with determination and the support of Covenant Health Therapy Center in Lenoir City, Martin made remarkable progress and found his way back to enjoying life’s pleasures, including his beloved fly fishing.

Man flyfishing in fall weather.

A Journey Through Surgeries and Recovery

Martin’s surgical journey began with his hip replacement at Parkwest Medical Center. “It went excellent,” he recalls. “I had a great surgeon who was very courteous and professional.” Despite this success, his health took a challenging turn with a small bowel obstruction that necessitated another hospital stay. By the time of his release, he had lost 30 pounds and became extremely weak.

Martin’s choice to pursue physical therapy with Covenant Health was driven by his desire to regain strength and reclaim his independence. He had already experienced excellent care at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center and hearing positive reviews about Covenant Health Therapy Center in Lenoir City, a department of Fort Loudoun Medical Center, solidified his decision.

“I chose Covenant in Lenoir City because I had a great experience at Patricia Neal and wanted to continue building my strength to live a normal life,” Martin explains. “I was so weak I couldn’t get in and out of bed.”

A Supportive and Professional Therapy Experience

Martin found a team of compassionate and skilled professionals who played a pivotal role in his recovery. From his first session, Martin knew he made the right choice. “The therapy sessions have been wonderful,” Martin remarked. “My main therapists, Brian Cartledge and Renee Wilson, have been incredibly professional and sympathetic. I couldn’t ask for any better.”

Brian Cartledge, DPT, described Martin’s initial condition as “very deconditioned with hip pain, overall weakness and decreased strength. He had difficulty walking and was at a high risk for falling.”

Brian Smiling in Black Scrubs in PT gym
Brian Cartledge, DPT

The treatment plan for Martin was comprehensive, involving therapeutic exercises, gait training, balance training and cardiovascular conditioning.

“We focused on rebuilding his activity tolerance and lower body strength while ensuring he could safely reduce his reliance on assistive devices,” Cartledge explained.

Rediscovering Independence and a Personal Passion

One of the most significant milestones in Martin’s recovery was his ability to return to fly fishing, a beloved hobby he had enjoyed since 1982.

“Before I started physical therapy, I couldn’t get in and out of my car,” Martin said. “Now I can drive out to the mountains, get my chair and fishing supplies, climb down a hill to the water and enjoy fly fishing again.”

At the beginning of his therapy journey, Martin’s goal was clear: to return to his pre-surgery level of functioning or better. He feels he has achieved 95 percent of that goal. Reflecting on his progress, he remarked, “I went from laying in a bed in the ICU, contemplating being in a nursing home, to standing in the middle of a creek fly fishing. That says it all.”

Cartledge checked off Martin’s remarkable progress with several recovery milestones. “Martin’s progress was truly wonderful to watch and be a part of,” Cartledge said. “He increased his walking distances, improved his posture and balance, and became more confident in navigating various surfaces. His overall demeanor also improved significantly, reflecting his physical recovery.”

Martin’s motivation to reach his goal has remained steadfast, and he will soon begin working independently with a trainer to continue making progress in his recovery. His experience at Covenant Health Therapy Center has not only restored his physical health, but also boosted his confidence and overall well-being.

Therapy Center Provides Exceptional Care Through Customized Treatment

Martin’s story is a testament to the transformative power of personalized, compassionate physical therapy. His journey from debilitating weakness to renewed independence underscores the exceptional care provided by Covenant Health Therapy Centers.

“Our team’s extensive experience and dedication to personalized care ensure that each patient receives the attention and treatment they need to meet their goals,” Cartledge said.

Covenant Health Therapy Centers offer rehabilitation services at 12 convenient locations in East Tennessee. In some instances, patients may be able to self-refer for therapy. For more information about locations and services, visit Covenant Health Therapy Centers.

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About the Author

Covenant Health

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Covenant Health is a community-owned, healthcare enterprise committed to providing the right care at the right time and place. Covenant Health is the area’s largest employer and has more than 11,000 compassionate caregivers, expert clinicians, and dedicated employees and volunteers.

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