Success Stories

  • Richard Starks


    Parkville, MO

    I am a 71-year-old male in acceptable physical condition. My wife and I are very active and have been scuba divers since 1996 with more than 160 documented dives. We also fly our two homebuilt WWI replica aircraft in air shows around the country.

    On September 1, 2014, I tripped over a railing getting into a boat and took a bad fall into the boat. The fall pretty much wiped out my right rotator cuff and shoulder joint. At first, I thought I had jammed it like I had done in my years of playing sports. After a couple of weeks, however, I wasn’t getting better and could not raise my right arm above my waist.

    A visit to my family physician led to an X-ray and a MRI that confirmed that I needed surgery and that I developed advanced arthritis in the shoulder. On October 28, 2014, I underwent a reverse shoulder replacement. I was told that I was to begin therapy right after surgery; I started physical therapy while still in the hospital. I was released and started upper extremity therapy at Select Physical Therapy on November 3, 2014, with Ms. Sunni Alford, OTR/L, OTD, CHT (occupational therapist and certified hand therapist).

    From the first day at Select Physical Therapy, I was totally impressed with the treatment I received. The entire therapy team, especially Sunni, is all very skilled and dedicated to what they do. Their professionalism and pride in their work is beyond compare. Another striking component is their constant cheerful attitudes. They are always complimenting and encouraging patients on their efforts and bragging about their achievements.

    My wife always joined me at my therapy appointments because she took notes on what Sunni and the therapy team shared with me during my care and what I was instructed to do in between appointments. Sunni was always checking my progress and watched me carefully to make sure I was not doing something beyond my ability as I continued to build strength during my plan of care.

    We're hoping for our next scuba diving trip in April 2015 and are already scheduled to fly in two air shows in May and June. I’ve got my life back! Thank you to Sunni Alford, Select Physical Therapy and my physician for making it possible.