From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Teresa Davis, RN, saw firsthand the devastating effects of the virus. The hours were long and the work was stressful, but it was exactly where she wanted to be. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to help people,” Davis says. Davis also says she wouldn’t have been able to fulfill her lifelong calling during the pandemic had it not been for Parkwest Therapy Center and physical therapist Jennifer Galloway, PT, DPT.

Headshot Teresa Davis, RN
Teresa Davis, RN

“She really is amazing,” Davis says of Galloway. “She’s encouraging, she’s an excellent physical therapist and a wonderful person.” Davis met Galloway long before the pandemic, and they had no idea their partnership would launch Davis onto the front lines during such a demanding and unprecedented time for healthcare workers.

A Winning Team

Teresa Davis dressed in PPE.
Covenant Health nurse Teresa Davis gives Parkwest physical therapist Jennifer Galloway credit for coming up with a therapy plan that would get Davis back to work in time to treat COVID-19 patients.

In 2018, Davis was walking on two bad knees. That’s painful for anyone, but especially for a nurse who has to be on her feet for hours as she takes care of others. “I was walking like I was a marionette, like my entire body was disconnected,” says Davis. “It was a task just to get to my car in the morning. It hurt.” After a joint replacement procedure at Parkwest Medical Center, her left knee was better – but then the rest of her body began to adjust
and compensate for the sudden change in alignment. It was painful and debilitating. “I couldn’t function,” Davis says. “I ended up getting tendinitis in my right leg.”

Unable to schedule surgery for her other knee right away and sometimes in tears from the pain, Davis found help at Parkwest Therapy Center. Galloway, a clinical specialist, guided Davis through therapy that not only helped the left knee continue to recover, but put the whole body in better working condition. “She helped me through it,” Davis says. “If I hadn’t gone to physical therapy of 2019, I probably couldn’t have worked.”

Jennifer Galloway in PT gym with mask on
Jennifer Galloway, physical therapist, at Parkwest Therapy Center.

When the date finally arrived for a second knee replacement in January 2020, Davis was strong and ready. After the surgery, she reported back to Parkwest Therapy to begin the 12-week rehabilitation process.

COVID-19 Care

Physical therapy was different this time, and not just because Davis had another new knee. The therapy sessions had a cloud of concern over them as Davis watched the calendar and attention to the news. “She was following the COVID virus from the start of its discovery in Wuhan, China,” Galloway says. “During her physical therapy sessions, we would discuss the pathology behind this unusual virus, and when it arrived in the state of Washington, she was very clear that she wanted to go back to work early.” Davis could see that the virus was eventually going to have an impact on East Tennessee. “I got really anxious and I knew I had to go back to work,” she says, “because I knew I would be needed.”

While others would shelter at home and try to stay away from the virus, Davis wanted to be ready to move toward it. Galloway shared Davis’s commitment and developed a more intensive therapy plan. “We added new things that we would normally do during the third month. We started dynamic and static balancing and endurance training,” Galloway says. “Teresa was very focused and she finished her therapy in eight weeks rather than 12.”

Discharged from physical therapy four weeks early, Davis was able to spend time building her stamina and strength at home. She returned to work, where she received specialized training related to COVID-19 and began caring for patients in early April. Galloway describes Davis as being a model patient who did everything that was asked of her. “Teresa is another example of how Covenant Health nurses and healthcare workers have stepped up to their calling to fight this virus,” she says. The care Davis received from Galloway at Parkwest Therapy Center not only helped this dedicated nurse put the needs of patients first, but it also gave her a better quality of life. “I’m not hurting – I’m so much better,” Davis says. “Oh, my goodness, it’s a miracle!”

Keeping Our Patients Safe

Parkwest follows stringent guidelines to assure safety during surgeries.

East Tennesseans are adapting to the new normal that is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some things haven’t changed. Parkwest Medical Center continues to follow the most stringent guidelines for the safety and protection of every patient.

Herman Botero, DO headshot
Herman Botero, DO

Orthopedic surgeon Herman Botero, DO, says joint replacement surgery is always available in a secure environment. Neither the pandemic nor the pain should keep patients from pursuing a full life. “When they’re living with arthritis and pain, they kind of
feel like they’re hostage to their knees,” Dr. Botero says. “But we have techniques and protocols that really help guide patients through this process and make it a little bit easier than what it used to be.” Dr. Botero trained under world-renowned surgeons who
pioneered minimally invasive knee replacement. He is one of the orthopedic surgeons at Parkwest who help patients find freedom from pain and regain control of their lives. For more information about joint replacement, visit TreatedWell.com/orthopedics.

In Motion

“A body at rest tends to remain at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

Famed physicist Isaac Newton published his laws of motion in 1687, and today they are still being proven in practice at Parkwest Therapy Center. Physical therapists use their knowledge and skill so bodies can remain in motion. Physical therapy is designed to restore mobility and function while preventing future problems.
Programs are customized to the needs of the each patient with one-on-one sessions. Degreed professionals focus on mobility, strength, balance and gait retraining with techniques like heat and cold therapy, massage, muscle retraining and pain management. The goal is to improve patients’ physical abilities so they can get back to enjoying life as quickly as possible. Parkwest Therapy Center offers sports medicine, orthopedic and neurological therapies and
can help those who suffer with:

  • Arthritis
  • Balance problems
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Repetitive/overuse injuries
  • Other unexplained pain

If you struggle with these or other physical issues that keep you in pain, see your doctor and call (865) 531-5710 to find out if therapy might be the right solution for you.