Get to Know You: Talitha Rector
In Get to Know You, we're asking our therapists a few questions to give our families a peek into who they are as people, not simply therapy providers. This month's Get to Know You features Physical Therapist Talitha Rector:
Who is your hero?
Joni Eareckson Tada, a professional diver who dove into a shallow area and suffered a spinal cord injury. Through her struggles, she became a Christian and dedicated her life to ministering to others with disabilities. Her story and faith is what fueled my passion to become a physical therapist.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
Growing up I said I wanted to own an ice cream truck because I loved seeing the smile on kids' faces as they are chasing the truck down and their faces as they anticipate the sweet treat. A few years back, I realized I was fortunate to have experienced similar moments but it wasn't the ice cream that lit up the faces. It was the opportunity to spend an hour playing with me. I don't need an ice cream truck. I have swings, climbing walls, balls, games, and "magic" Kinesio tape.
I love the moments of amazement when a child is able to do something gross motor-wise they had given up on being able to do because they tried and tried and their body wasn't cooperating with them. Recently I had a child who wanted to jump rope and despite her best efforts, she just couldn't get the coordination right. I was able to teach her how to connect her body with her core and trunk muscles and support the muscles with Kinesiotape and she immediately got up and began jumping with the jump rope. Her mom was in tears as she stated she never thought she would see this moment. There are things parents with typically developing kids take for granted. I love that I get to be there for the moments where it seems like anything is possible.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My faith is important to me and I thank for God choosing to use me by gifting me with the knowledge and skills to heal through my work as a physical therapist. My greatest story of healing is one of a client who had been experiencing chronic pain for 4 years. She was unable to tolerate standing or walking long distances and rode a scooter around her college campus. She traveled from doctor to doctor trialing different methods to relieve the pain with no success. When she came to me she had almost lost all hope in ever experiencing relief. In her second session, I was able to help her relax and then correctly activate her muscles in order to give her a moment without pain. The room was filled with laughter and tears as hope returned. Now three years out, she has retrained her muscles and is able to hike, bike, dance, and often forgets there was a time when her life was limited by pain.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Mandy Moore and I would love for it to be a Broadway Musical instead of a movie. There has to be dancing and singing.
If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
Hmm...My name means little lamb but I think a bird is probably a better description. I am hungry for knowledge and at the beginning like to be fed information but enjoy learning how to fly on my own. I love the freedom of independence but I also enjoy opportunities to fly with a flock and be part of something bigger. I fit in wherever I am, love to sing, and tend to always leave an imprint. I pray that imprint is a positive one in the hearts and lives of those around me, not one that leaves poop on the windshield. Although, I will say as a physical therapist I am really good at helping wake up the GI system and often bowels move in my presence.