Dan Achieves ‘BIG’ Results

May 24, 2023

Dan Hugos

As someone who spent dozens of miles a week on his bicycle, Dan Hugos had always been very aware of his balance. One day five years ago, Dan noticed something was not quite right with his body while bicycling — he felt unsteady and off balance during the ride. Dizziness and double vision soon followed. After extensive testing, doctors diagnosed Dan with multiple system atrophy (MSA), a rare and progressive condition of the nervous system. MSA features symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease in some patients.

Dan and his wife, Nancy, researched treatment options that would slow the disease’s progression and improve Dan’s balance, mobility and overall quality of life. One option stood out: an innovative therapy called LSVT BIG®. This course of treatment is provided by specially certified physical therapists and is personalized to each patient. LSVT BIG generally consists of practicing larger, more exaggerated movements to counteract the gradual slower and smaller movements that occur as a result of conditions such as MSA or Parkinson’s.

At the recommendation of a friend, Nancy reached out to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation and made an appointment with Susan Lawfer, PT, MPT, DPT, Cert. MDT, CBIS, rehabilitation services manager at Good Shepherd’s Palmerton location. To Nancy’s relief, Susan recommended LSVT BIG for Dan and informed the couple that Dan could begin outpatient therapy immediately at the Palmerton location, close to their home.

Today, Dan has completed two rounds of LSVT BIG therapy successfully and continues his exercises at home, every day, twice a day. Nancy believes this specialized therapy and the expert team at Good Shepherd helped slow the progression of Dan’s disease.

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Your generosity makes a real difference in the lives of patients, like Dan, by helping us remain at the forefront of innovative therapies, such as LSVT BIG. To learn more about how you can support leading-edge care at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, contact the Development office at 610-778-1075.

“We were extremely fortunate to discover the LSVT BIG program at Good Shepherd, right in our own backyard. Susan and Janet are wonderful physical therapists and taught him so much. I noticed a difference in Dan’s mobility and stability right after starting LSVT therapy. He continues to do the PT exercises diligently on his own at home. If he skips a day, he feels it. And I certainly notice it. Luckily, he’s pretty dedicated and determined to keep moving on his own. LSVT therapy is an integral part of that.”

– Nancy Zeigler, Dan’s wife