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'Keep going' — Allied therapist and patient describes recovery from skiing mishap

Newswatch 16 is a proud sponsor of Team Allied Services. The annual marathon fundraiser helps purchase therapy equipment and technology for countless patients.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — One Allied Services employee-turned-patient knows firsthand the importance of the New York City Marathon fundraiser.

There are lots of lessons to be learned when the teacher becomes the patient. Lori Ashman-Williams became a patient of her craft after a skiing accident last winter.

"I was going down to close a lift, and as I went down, my ski got stuck in a crack, and I went up and over the ski. I actually went head over heels."

The accident left Lori, an outdoor enthusiast, with two broken legs, a broken shoulder, nose, and a few more injuries. She had multiple surgeries.

"This leg had to have two surgeries, this leg had one surgery, and I didn't have surgery if I didn't move that, so I didn't move it."

And there was lots of therapy, something Lori is no stranger to as a physical therapist for Allied Services. And that's exactly where she turned after her accident.

"I called them as soon as I was in the hospital because I was like, I think I need to get into TRU because I can't move. I don't have any extremities to use except one."

TRU, the Transitional Rehab Unit, is just one way Team Allied helps patients get back on track after injuries.

Lori is now using the same equipment that's helped her patients. The physical and occupational therapy has helped her relearn how to stand up, get dressed, and even how to use a wheelchair.

"I had to learn how to use an electric wheelchair with my left arm. I'm a righty, and so I was terrible. I was crashing into everything," she laughed.

And she's made great progress.

"I'm working on my gait, on walking, balance, strengthening."

In less than six months, she's started walking again and is already back at work part-time. Though she admits this has taken a mental toll, she won't quit and aims to meet this challenge just like she's done in the past.

Three years ago, Lori ran a marathon to raise money for Team Allied.

"I raised about $8,000, and it was a really good experience. And that's what I kept telling myself. 'Keep going. You ran a marathon. This is nothing.' And so I think that really helped, and now I'm using some of the equipment that I helped raise money for, so now it's come full circle."

These days, she is taking it one step at a time, determined to get back to what she loves.

Watch more stories about Team Allied on WNEP's YouTube channel.

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