Profile of Success: Laurence ‘Larry’ Govin-Matzat

March 8, 1976. Larry Govin-Matzat remembers this day well. It was the day he put down the cigarette and picked up running.

“I’ve done thirty-six triathlons and nine marathons,” said Larry. “And I was president of the Badgerland Striders for two years.” Larry is a long-time athlete and reminisced on his favorite marathon, the beautiful Grandma’s Marathon held in Duluth, Minnesota which runs point-to-point from the town of Two Harbors on Scenic Route 61 and continues along Lake Superior. The finish is located in Canal Park, near Grandma’s Restaurant.

Seventy-five-year-old Larry is a rehab resident at the Jewish Home and Care Center and has been making a tremendous amount of progress since February 1. “He’s better than he has been in years,” said his wife Stephanie, “they’re doing a great job downstairs in the therapy department.” Larry came to the Jewish Home and Care Center after experiencing a couple of falls in his home. He was in the emergency room for six days after his last fall, and made the decision to come to the Jewish Home and Care Center for rehabilitation because he and Stephanie knew that this was “a good place with a good reputation and excellent care.”

Larry is in physical therapy and occupational therapy five days a week, and also receives aquatic therapy in the pool twice a week with Kari Knox, wellness coordinator. “Larry is extraordinarily motivated,” says Bonnie Johnson, physical therapy assistant. “Without that motivation, he would not be where he is today in accomplishing his therapy goals.” Bonnie went on to say, “and truly this success is a team effort. The nurse’s aides have been wonderful getting him to walk around for meals and keeping him inspired. He continues to make progress every day and remains upbeat and positive. We’ve even gotten Larry to the point where he’s doing stairs!”

Stephanie said, “Dr. Mateo [medical director at the Jewish Home and Care Center] and the therapy department saved his life.”

Larry continues to improve every day and has high hopes to return to his house in Cambridge Woods where he lives with his wife Stephanie and their handsome Australian Cattle dog, Dexter.

Update: Since this article was written, Larry has gone home! Larry made significant progress, and went home on Friday, March 25. Larry will continue to come to the Jewish Home and Care Center’s Therapy Department for outpatient care twice per week. Congratulations, Larry!

If you are interested in learning more about our therapy department, call 414.277.8846.

Photos: Kari Knox, wellness coordinator, and Larry Govin-Matzat during an aquatic therapy session.