Patient to Physical Therapist: Dani’s Story


My name is Dani Burt. I’m a physical therapist at Sharp Memorial Hospital. I had a motorcycle crash 14 years ago. I sustained a bunch of injuries from that. Eventually, they were able to get me to the
hospital where I spent 12 hours in the operating room. Both of my lungs collapsed. I was able to make it out of that operating
room, but I did sustain a mild brain injury from lack of oxygen. I was so fragile they had to put me in a drug-induced
coma and I had to be in that coma for 5 weeks. While I was in that coma, I developed an infection
in my knee. It was sort of a battle in my body of whether
it was going to heal my lungs, versus my leg. It got to the point where they had to remove
the leg. In the beginning it was difficult for me as
a patient. I was 19 years old, I had this crazy accident
happen to me. I really thought that I would never be completely
independent again. My physical therapist began to show me how
to move again, began to show me certain ways that I could sit up on my own again and get
up and start to get my independence back. That meant so much to me. I just felt that that would be an amazing
career to have. So, once I became more independent, I started
to pursue that. That’s where I really saw the impact and the
purpose that I had as far as being a physical therapist. I can go in there. I can show patients what’s going on with me,
as far as being an above-the-knee amputee. That sort of flips a switch. You give someone hope at that moment. I really feel like that sets the stage and
that really shows them where they can go in life.

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