His hard work, determination, and dedication won Joe Senser a spot as a tight end for the Minnesota Vikings, and the love of people everywhere. After a successful football career came to an end, Joe made Minnesota his home.
The end of his professional football career didn’t slow Joe down. He stayed busy as a husband, father and businessman. His active lifestyle didn’t slow down much at all until this past July, when a massive stroke left Joe once again learning to speak, walk, and perform daily activities. The recommendation of a family friend brought Joe to Saint Therese of New Hope as Joe began the recovery process to regain his independence and learn to talk and walk on his own again.
And that’s where I met Joe.
As I walked into the rehab facility at Saint Therese of New Hope, Minnesota, I immediately knew that the man in front of me was Joe. He walked slowly but deliberately into rehab with a cane on his left and his wife Amy to his right. At a solid 6’4″, Joe commands attention when he walks into a room. But it isn’t just his height that sets him apart in a crowd. He has a welcoming smile, positive attitude, and a great personality –which is evident by simply watching his interactions.
Joe knows the importance of having the right team by his side. His wife Amy has been a huge part of his recovery—her energy, kindness, and encouragement has helped Joe this far and will continue to help him through the long recovery process. His physical therapist, Iva Carey is another great teammate – providing the professionalism and guidance that Joe needs during his recovery. She brings with her, over 30 years in physical therapy and her kind words and encouragement. As Iva guided Joe through his therapy, she relied on the assistance of the Solo-Step. During our conversation, Iva told me, “As therapists, we don’t have to choose between keeping the patient in place and doing fine-tuning work.” His therapist Iva said “Joe is coachable. He will try any activity that I suggest.” With the help of the Solo-Step, Joe can do just that. And this same piece of medical equipment allows a petite therapist to support the solid build of a former professional football player.
Iva noted that therapy sessions with Joe are collaborative and that they are working through recovery as a team. She noted that Joe is still making progress and naturally healing. The same hard work, determination, and dedication that earned Joe Senser a spot with the Minnesota Vikings, is bringing Joe through the recovery process. Joe and Amy both know that recovery is slow and steady, but together with the help of the team at Saint Therese, and the support of the Solo-Step, they will make it through. -KF