“I have no regrets. Helping others gain function brings me tremendous joy. So does improving lives, educating patients, and mentoring the next generation of occupational therapists. I couldn’t be more satisfied and blessed.“ – Deborah Lakin, director of rehabilitation at Wickenburg Community Hospital
Did you know that half of all Americans over the age of 18 develop a musculoskeletal injury each year? That means more than 100 million people could benefit from seeing a physical therapist or an occupational therapist for chronic back pain, neck pain, or pain associated with arthritis, sprained muscles, and broken bones. That figure does not include nearly 800,000 people who suffer a stroke every year or approximately 500,000 people diagnosed annually with Parkinson’s disease.
Deborah Lakin, director of rehabilitation at Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH) and an occupational therapist, has a deep personal experience that may make her just the right provider for those needing physical and occupational therapy. A phone call at 3:00 in the morning changed Lakin’s life forever. She was just 21 years old, with aspirations of becoming a dentist, when she learned that a catastrophic stroke left her mother unable to talk or walk or feed herself. Her mother’s stroke put Lakin on a different trajectory.
Today she helps patients, and their families travel a road with which she is intimately familiar.
Lakin’s mother spent weeks in the intensive care unit and months in a rehab facility regaining function. “It was during this time that I saw God’s work through the hands of my mom’s care providers, “says Lakin. “I learned about physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.” Lakin watched as her mom relearned how to walk, how to swallow, how to bathe herself, and eventually how to say a few words, and greater still regain some of her neurological function.
“It was through my observation of occupational therapy and learning about the holistic philosophy that captured my interest,” says Lakin. “I would see my mom walking from one point to another but also developing and improving the skills she needed for daily living. That changed my life forever.” Lakin’s life and career path changed that February night a long time ago. “I have no regrets. Helping others gain function brings me tremendous joy. So does improving lives, educating patients, and mentoring the next generation of occupational therapists. I couldn’t be more satisfied and blessed.”
Lakin specializes in treating neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, repetitive motion disorders, and other conditions that can affect mobility and daily living. Treatment plans are tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs and goals. Wickenburg Community Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center is an excellent choice for individuals who are seeking high-quality, personalized occupational therapy services in a state-of-the-art facility with experienced therapists like Lakin.
If you or a loved one has questions about the occupational therapy services at WCH or would like to schedule an appointment, call us at 928-684-5529 or stop by for a tour of our facility at 520 Rose Lane.
WCH Rehabilitation Services were made possible through the generosity of Alex and Jane Boyd.