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Physiotherapist Champions Patients through Rehab Journey


June 14, 2022 - Hospital Family Story, Stories

Physiotherapist Champions Patients through Rehab Journey

Encouraged by her father at a young age to try different fields of work, Sheila Makadia-Pento spent a summer volunteering at a physiotherapist clinic. The experience inspired Sheila to pursue a career in health care, ultimately becoming a physiotherapist herself. 

“It was my dad who introduced me to health care. Every summer while in high school, he encouraged me to volunteer in different disciplines,” said Sheila. “I volunteered at a pharmacy, a dentist office, and at an optometrist’s office, but it was when I was at the physiotherapist’s clinic, I knew I was in love.”

Sheila has worked for William Osler Health System (Osler) for more than 20 years, currently on the rehab unit at Brampton Civic Hospital. There are many aspects of physiotherapy that she enjoys but she is quick to highlight that it is her patients and Osler colleagues who motivate her each and every day.

“I truly have the best group of colleagues at Osler; we are a very strong team,” said Sheila. “It’s because of this team, that it makes working with my patients so enjoyable. When a patient arrives in rehab, they are often very vulnerable but we work as a team to create consistency and stability for them and get to be a support system for them and their families.”

Over her career, Sheila has worked with many patients but what stands out most in her mind is her ability to see them through their rehab journey.

“I feel so fortunate to know that I am helping to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I get to see them progress from being wheelchair dependent to leaving our unit walking with a cane,” said Sheila. “I’m always so grateful when patients come back to visit and show us how well they are doing – it’s incredible.”

Helping patients recover and regain mobility requires specialized equipment and Osler, like all hospitals in Ontario, relies on community donations to fund 100 percent of equipment in its hospitals. This is called community share.

“We require a lot of equipment in order to safely progress patients along in their rehab journey and to provide appropriate recommendations of what the best aid is for them,” said Sheila. “If we don’t have the equipment, we can’t try it, the patient can’t advance in their progress, we can’t give them their independence back and get them home to their families as quickly. At the end of the day, we just want what is best for our patients but we need the community’s support to ensure we have access to the equipment we need.”

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