Helping a Patient Reach the Summit
David Pateman had a lifelong dream to hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Rising high above the plains of Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest
mountain in Africa. In March 2013, while training for this adventurous
climb, David suffered a knee injury that would require surgery to repair
it followed by weeks of physical therapy.
David’s successful meniscal repair surgery was performed on May 9,
2013, at Saint Clare’s Bott Family Surgical Pavilion in Denville
by Dr. Frank Capecci. A short time after the surgery, David met with a
physical therapist from the Physical Medicine department to begin a personalized
regimen to rehabilitate his knee. "From the beginning, the staff
was on the ball assessing my needs and considering my goals," David
said. "The professionalism, personal care and understanding of the
entire staff were without a doubt the highest quality anywhere."
Although he found the therapy not always easy, David was dedicated in following
the outpatient sessions in the hospital as well as the home regimen the
staff created for him. "I sometimes wondered why I was doing certain
routines that seemed peculiar but it soon became apparent," he said.
On September 5, 2013, just four months after surgery, David achieved his
lifelong dream and was able to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, a trek he called
"the hardest, roughest, most fantastic" thing he had ever done.
David was able to make it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, while others
much younger were not able to do so. He believes that "without the
care and dedication of the Saint Clare’s Physical Medicine department,
I would not have been able to realize this dream I have had since I was
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my dream," he added.
This outcome is specific to this patient. Results can vary based on each
individual patient and situation.