Patient Testimonials

Ralph Barone

Ralph_BaroneAt Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), you can receive high-quality medical care without having to travel across the river or board a train to Baltimore. Just ask Ralph Barone, who wouldn’t have been able to reach his goal of walking down the aisle at his son’s wedding without the diligent care and compassion of the ARI team. 

About a year before the wedding, Ralph began having difficulty walking. After a visit with his orthopedist, where he was diagnosed with a baker cyst behind his left knee, Ralph underwent a series of procedures to drain the clotted blood from his calf. He then began regular physical therapy visits in order to fully recover. However, as the weeks dragged on, rather than improving, Ralph was having more difficulty walking and moving his arms and neck. 

“I was having a great deal of peripheral neuropathy,” Ralph stated. “Instead of moving better, my movement was worsening.” 

So Ralph consulted Dr. Richard Winnie, a Pain Management Specialist from Morristown Hospital. He reviewed his test results and suggested getting an additional MRI of the neck and upper vertebrae. The results were not promising. Ralph had a malignant tumor on his neck’s upper vertebrae, inside the spinal cord. 

“I was contemplating a life span of several years after surgery,” he said. 

Ralph chose Dr. Jonathon Baskin, a surgeon for Atlantic Neurological Surgeons, and his team to perform his surgery. Dr. Baskin had studied at Johns Hopkins, and more importantly, was close to home, so Ralph could stay near his family. 

After a second MRI, Ralph’s doctors determined that his tumor was actually outside the spinal cord, and possibly benign, increasing the prospect of complete removal. Dr. Baskin was optimistic about full recovery, telling Ralph that with dedication, he would not only be able to attend his son’s wedding in a little over a month, but walk down the aisle as well.  

After the surgery, performed on April 12, Ralph was sent to ARI for acute rehab. The wedding was scheduled for May 5, only three weeks later, so the team quickly got to work. Ralph had multiple physical and occupational therapy sessions a day, as well as regular visits from various specialty clinicians. 

“I was very pleased with the quality of care, dedication, compassion, and reinforcement everyone gave me,” said Ralph. “From my care counselor, to the doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and nurse aides, everyone was pushing and helping me make my son’s wedding. Some days were certainly not easy, but with the support of my family and the staff at ARI, I knew I could get better.” 

And he did. After two weeks at ARI and one week of at home therapy through Atlantic Health, Ralph was able to walk down the aisle with his wife without a walker at his son’s wedding. Ralph is grateful for everyone on “Team Ralph” who got him to where he is today. 

“Today, I walk with no assistance from a walker or cane. Today, I have movement in my neck, arms, legs, hands and feet. Today, I have no tumor in my neck. Today, I can tell you my son’s wedding was beautiful and I was able to be there the entire time to experience it with my family,” said Ralph. “The team at Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute assisted me in achieving this goal!”