Shane Voisin first met our Beaumont physical therapy team while recovering from ulnar nerve surgery. However, it wasn’t until he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2016 that he learned the true power of physical therapy.

A syndrome in which the immune system inexplicably begins to attack the peripheral nervous system, Guillain-Barré syndrome can cause varying levels of weakness and tingling in the legs and upper body. In severe cases, it can lead to life-threatening nearly total paralysis that affects a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and ability to breathe, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Shane’s case was so severe that doctors had to use a ventilator to help him breathe.

“When I walked out of the hospital — which was a blessing in and of itself — I was unsteady and had to walk with a cane,” Shane says. “I had constant periods of exhaustion.” Shane started physical therapy in July 2016 in Beaumont and slowly began improving his muscle mass, strength and endurance. Eight-and-a-half months later, he returned to his job at a local chemical plant. “I feel stronger every day,” Shane says. “I’m fortunate because many people don’t make this much progress this quickly. If it hadn’t been for physical therapy, I probably still wouldn’t be back at work. My muscles essentially wasted away, but my physical therapist helped me stay motivated and encouraged me to do the things I needed to do to help my body rebuild.”