Patient Stories: 
Margaret Bergan

We each have that special place where we are hugged by the sights and the sounds and the smells and the very air. For Margaret “Peggy” Bergan that place was the family beach house on Cape Cod. Imagine knowing that place was waiting for you, but you were unable to return for five years. Not everyone would have the drive, the stick-to-itiveness to make that happen. But we are talking about Peggy here.

Peg at the beach Peggy’s journey back to the beach started in 2008. Osteoarthritis necessitated knee replacements for both knees. The left knee was fine, but an infection in the right knee required multiple surgeries to eradicate the infection and repair her leg. The surgeries and resultant inactivity resulted in dysfunction of both knees; Peggy was unable to stand and walk.

After needing to use a wheelchair for several years, and numerous stays in nursing homes and hospitals, Peggy found her way to Hospital for Special Care (HSC) in January, 2012. Working first with Gretchen Relva, PT, Peggy obtained customized leg braces that fit her legs and her needs, this after years of trying multiple braces that proved ineffective. Next, Dr. Jay Waller, PT, treated Peggy three times a week for 18 months, instructing her, helping her learn the exercises, and encouraging her.

During this time, Alaina Breitberg, PsyD, a psychology fellow at HSC, and helped Peggy to find the strength and resolve to keep pushing herself. Peggy’s brother Jack Ardini describes the care Peggy receives at HSC as “multidirectional and the team is always more than willing to accommodate any request” Peggy had as her treatment advanced.

After 185 hours of intense and sometimes arduous therapy, and with the support of her family, Peggy is able to stand on her own and return to the beach house after five years away. These days, Peggy continues to visit the beach and physical therapy with Jay to maintain her mobility.

We admire Peg for her spirit, her determination and her amazing family. It took her five years, but she truly made it back to the beach!