One Traumatic Accident Leads to a Dream Career

Rise Health Group is a business that is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of all community members.

Through the development of the business, Rise has seen an extensive number of patients; each brings with them their own stories about their needs for care.

As a journalism student at Swinburne University and staff member at Rise Health Group, I, Breanna Harris, will be highlighting the stories of both patients and staff.

Each story will be told over a series of articles. The following is the first in a series about our Exercise Scientist, Miss Zoe Ruth.

“If I hadn’t [had] done it, I one, wouldn’t be working here; and two, wouldn’t have studied what I studied.”

Zoe Ruth started out as a patient, but is now a qualified exercise scientist who has gone on to complete her masters at Deakin University in order to become a fully qualified exercise physiologist as a result of her 14 years with Rise Health Group.

Zoe’s involvement with Rise Health Group first started when she broke the femur in her left leg.

At the time, Zoe was only eight years old, and when she believed that her cat was stuck behind a few slabs of marble, she had to do something.

“Because my dad worked in construction, we were banned from the side of the house.” Zoe explained.

Terrified about her cat she ignored the family rule and crept down the side of her house.

Zoe laid three slabs on her lap before a fourth one fell down, causing the break in her leg.

She was rushed to Dandenong Hospital and into surgery in order to implant two internal pins into her left femur.

While waiting in the emergency room, Zoe’s mum saw a similar situation telecast on Channel 7 — a young girl, about Zoe’s age, had been taken to Dandenong Hospital from Rowville with reports that she had broken her left leg.

It only came to Zoe’s mum’s mind that the news story was about her daughter when she began receiving a number of text messages and calls from concerned relatives.

Mrs. Ruth was mortified that Zoe’s story had been telecast nationwide and that her other two children had also been interviewed despite her wishes.

After Zoe was out of surgery and the Channel 7 ordeal had subsided for a moment, it was critical that they began her rehabilitation the next day due to the nature of her break and her age.

Her rehabilitation started in Dandenong Hospital and then moved to another local physiotherapist in Scoresby, but “they weren’t that great” for a young girl scared and having to learn how to walk again.

At this time, Rowville Physiotherapy, which is now called Rise Health Group, was only a new business in the Rowville area.

With about three physiotherapists, including practice owner, Stuart Canavan, the practice was small and without many patients.

Based solely on the corner of Taylors Lane and Kelletts Road, the practice was relying heavily on word of mouth and locals seeing their signed location.

Curiosity of the new practice in their area was what drew her mum to suggest trying Rowville Physiotherapy for her daughter’s treatment.

Beginning her rehabilitation with physiotherapist, Stuart Canavan, Zoe began to realise the full scope of her accident.

From this one injury she had to learn how to walk again, her legs started to grow at different speeds, she developed muscular atrophy (the reduction in muscle size) and her body changed its response to even the simplest of tasks.

“He was really good with assessing and treating,” Zoe said when asked about her rehabilitation sessions with Canavan, “[he was] really committed.”

Canavan reported that he can remember visiting Zoe one day after work in order to check up on her pain because “the nature of the injury that she had, was reasonably significant.”

“It wasn’t any different to what I would do to other patients who were in a really bad way,” he continued.

Although Zoe’s leg has now completely healed, she continues to be a valuable asset to the Rise Health Group team working as an exercise scientist as well as helping out with administration work and running the new ‘Life!’ program.

If you believed that Zoe Ruth could help with your treatment, please contact Rise Health Group on 9763 9233 or visit any of our facilities to organise assistant with one of the Rise team members.

The original article was posted in the Rowville Lysterfield Community News.

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