Walking down the aisle

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Spencer walking about of their ceremony together on January 2, 2015.

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Spencer walking about of their ceremony together on January 2, 2015.

The pain in Jesse Spencer’s left knee had been getting gradually worse over a two-year period. Daily tasks such as walking or performing his job were becoming more difficult. Having had surgery on that same knee seven years prior, he decided to go to the doctor and get his knee examined.

When Jesse was told by his orthopedic surgeon that he needed a knee operation due to lack of cartilage under his patella – which was the cause of his never ending knee pain – it couldn’t have come at worse time. With Jesse’s wedding to his fiancé, Kayleigh Adkins, just a few months away he and his family were worried that he wouldn’t be able to walk down the aisle on his special day.

His surgery was performed on September 24, 2014 just three months and eight days from his wedding day, on January 2, 2015. Being an advance type of surgery – due to the extensive damage in Jesse’s left knee – the recovery time would be four to six months. Also, because of the exceptional pain that Jesse was in, he couldn’t hold off the surgery any longer.

Six weeks post-op, when the time came to choose a physical therapist, Jesse chose to work with Shawn Carter, Jr., the clinical director at Tidewater Physical Therapy of St. Michaels.

Knowing Jesse had a six-month road to recovery, he and Kayleigh were very nervous about the results of Shawn’s initial evaluation. Jesse was anticipating unwanted pain during his appointments and both were nervous that Shawn would say that Jesse would need the help of a cane to walk down the aisle for their wedding and not be able to enjoy dancing at the reception.

When Jesse and Kayleigh went in for Jesse’s evaluation, the smiling face of Hillary, the office manager, made them feel at ease immediately. When they met Shawn for the first time, he was very kind, friendly and optimistic about Jesse’s recovery. During the tour of the facility, Jesse and Kayleigh both found a common theme; everyone was smiling. Jesse’s fear of pain went away when he realized that the staff made for an upbeat and fun environment. Jesse said, “If all the patients in here are in pain, but still smiling, this won’t be so bad.”

Once Shawn was finished going over salient medical information with Jesse, Kayleigh jumped in to ask the question she’d been waiting for so long to ask, “Will Jesse be able to walk down the aisle on our wedding day?” Shawn smiled and said, “Yes, we will get him there.” With a sigh of relief, Jesse was now ready to embark on his physical therapy journey with Tidewater Physical Therapy and was motivated to work even harder, knowing there was a wonderful end in sight.

After only seven weeks of physical therapy (going two to three times a week), Jesse was walking without the help of mobility aids. On his wedding day, with many thanks going to the Tidewater Physical Therapy team at the St. Michaels clinic, Jesse was able to walk down the aisle to wait for his bride, leave the ceremony walking next to Kayleigh, and enjoyed their first dance.

After a long night of dancing and celebrating, Jesse and Kayleigh traveled to Jamaica on their honeymoon. Due to the dedication of Shawn Carter and his team, Jesse was able to enjoy his once in a lifetime vacation as well. He walked on the beach, swam, kayaked and even climbed a waterfall! “None of this would have been possible without the hard work that Shawn and the staff at Tidewater Physical Therapy put in to help me recover during my time at the clinic. They got me walking again, and I was never so happy to walk side-by-side with my bride out of our ceremony as Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Spencer.”