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Excerpts by Henry Lane Hull

by Henry Lane Hull

Six years ago, I developed Achilles’ tendonitis in my left foot, which affected my walking, and became a constantly painful fact of life. I received a variety of diagnoses and underwent physical treatments, but the problem persisted. In a casual conversation with our friend, Maryellen Scherl, I mentioned the problem, and she immediately began telling me how to alleviate the situation.

The exercises she prescribed worked extraordinarily well; within a week, I was well on the road to recovery. A month later, I had no symptoms. Thereafter, whenever I have felt a tinge of the malady returning, I have gone into action implementing Maryellen’s remedy. 

I mentioned my good experience to an elderly friend who was homebound with numerous physical ailments in the wake of several surgeries and I suggested he try to arrange for a visit from Maryellen. By good fortune, Maryellen was assigned to his case. She began regular visits to his home to work with getting him, literally, “back on his feet.” 

Maryellen has spent her career in administering physical therapy and she begins each case taking nothing for granted. She gives up on no one. She is always the steady hand there to offer help and encouragement. Her patients receive her complete and comprehensive attention, whether they have come to her as a result of a casual chat such as mine, or by assignment from health care professionals, as in the case of my friend. She combines her scientific learning in directing the patients on the road to improvement, if not full recovery, along with a level of enthusiasm and good cheer that she sees as equally important for the patients’ progress. 

In essence, as I witnessed in the case of my friend, Maryellen brings about an awe-inspiring aura of wanting to do better on the part of the patient, as much as that of inculcating a personal desire to please her—in short, to make her happy. In his case, he would tell me when she was coming and how he hoped she would be encouraged by his progress. He was trying to get better both for himself and for her. 

Two years ago, my friend died, his last years having been far richer and more purposeful because of Maryellen. In every case, her joy in seeing the results of her lessons and exercises is boundless. Her patients’ progress gives her justifiable satisfaction coming from knowing that she has done her best to make life better and more fulfilling for those in her charge.

Last year, Maryellen entered a new realm when she and her husband, Jerry Burney, welcomed their first grandchild, whose path through life I am certain will benefit from many of her good counseling tips. As far as her advice goes, sharing the course of my own progress, if any readers have problems with Achilles’ tendonitis, a principal directive of the Maryellen Scherl method is to stand on the bottom of a flight of stairs with only the balls of one’s feet on the tread. From that position, gradually and slowly, stretch one’s heels downward. Hold the position for a minute, then equally slowly release.

I do not presume to know the physics involved in this maneuver, but I do know from personal experience that it works.

Today is Maryellen’s birthday. To someone who has devoted her own life to enabling others to be able to enjoy having the increased mobility and dexterity of comfortable living, I say, Happy Birthday, Maryellen! You are at the Peak of Youth! 

Ad multos annos!

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team

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