Patient Stories

Patient Stories

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 a teenager."

"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.