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Muskegon couple fights their battles against pain together, with help from physical therapy

When Kevin and Beverly Battle were married 36 years ago, they took their vows to love each other in sickness and in health very seriously.

Beverly was diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disorder that causes loss of vision. Her balance was affected, which led to falls, and she suffered back issues that required surgery. She later injured her arm in a fall and needed surgery, and, if that wasn’t enough, she eventually had hip replacement surgery and a second back surgery.

“I was in a lot of pain,” Beverly said. “I could hardly walk.”

That’s when she and her doctor decided to try Mary Free Bed. In March, she began working with physical therapist James Hartlein and physical therapy assistant Albie DeVries. Her goal was an aggressive one – she wanted to dance with her son at his wedding in June.

“Everything was inter-related,” said James, who developed a rehabilitation plan to improve Beverly’s coordination and strength. “It took a couple of months, but when we figured it out, Beverly just took off.”

Kevin drove Beverly to her physical therapy appointments at Mary Free Bed’s Walker location, continuing to provide the same support he had throughout their marriage.

“I signed up for this,” he said.

While working with Beverly, James noticed Kevin seemed uncomfortable. As it turns out, the years of helping Beverly had caused Kevin to suffer back issues. He also had fallen, injuring his shoulder. James encouraged Kevin to see his doctor, who diagnosed him with a rotator cuff injury. So, Kevin joined Beverly for physical therapy, and the couple grew stronger together.

Meet Kevin and Beverly in this video … and watch her dance with her son.

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