Every Duchenne parent wants to know that their child is in good hands with their medical team. Physical therapy is an important part of that medical team, and Texas physical therapist Dani Trees wants to reassure parents she has the best training necessary to properly care for their child.
Dani’s first Duchenne patient came to her with late stage muscle deterioration. Unfortunately he did not have proper care for many years, and while she did the best she could, his deterioration was painfully fast.
Determined to not let that happen again, Dani completed the CureDuchenne Cares Physical Therapist Certification program, developed by Jennifer Wallace, founder of the Duchenne Therapy Network, in conjunction with CureDuchenne after years of extensive work with patients. This training taught Dani new exercises and more about the balance between force and gentleness when treating Duchenne patients. Aggressive therapy might work for other conditions, but the delicate muscle tissue of Duchenne patients requires a more tender approach. This training also helped her better prepare for the emotional side of treating Duchenne patients.
Physical therapy continues to be the primary treatment for those with Duchenne with the goal of keeping patients ambulatory for as long as possible.
Dani first became attracted to physical therapy because of the diversity of the treatment possibilities and how, as a physical therapist, she can help patients overcome injury and disability. One of the highlights of her job has been helping babies and young children with mobility disorders walk for the first time. After treating her first Duchenne patient, her passion for treating and educating Duchenne patients about the impact of early, comprehensive treatment grew.
The CureDuchenne Cares PT certification process focuses on the most current standards of care, shared best practices and the skills necessary to navigate the healthcare system. It is critical component of the comprehensive CureDuchenne Cares program.
Managing the healthcare system is an important element to helping Duchenne families. Precious time could be lost while waiting for approvals, and the certification process taught Dani how to expedite the approval process for vital medical equipment required by Duchenne patients, such as a sit-stand wheelchair.
It is easy for a physical therapist to be overwhelmed with compassion while caring for a Duchenne patient, which can influence a patient’s success. The certification taught Dani to channel her compassion into more effective treatment sessions and gave her the skills to comfort parents as the disease progresses.
“The CureDuchenne Cares program is one of the most impactful courses I’ve ever taken,” Dani explains. “This program has empowered me to become the best physical therapist that Duchenne patient – and their family – needs. With this certification I feel confident telling parents that their child is in the best hands.”