Patient Spotlight – Ron Thornton

October 8, 2020 5:44 pm / Category: Dana Point

Ron Thornton knew that something wasn’t right when he began to notice his lack of expression in the mirror, his inability to print or write well and started tripping whenever he tried to back up. After four CAT scans, four MRIs, and finally, a nuclear MRI, Ron was diagnosed with preliminary Parkinson’s Disease. He didn’t expect it, because to the best of his knowledge no one in his family had ever had it. After a series of in-office tests, Ron’s neurologist determined that he would be a good candidate for physical therapy to help with his walking and balance, and referred him to Rausch Physical Therapy — Dana Point. Right off the bat, he found a kindred spirit: his initial evaluation here was done by a physical therapist who shared his passion for surfing, motorcycle riding, and mountain bike riding.

Ron’s therapist, Brian Frank, was not only an excellent therapist and athletic trainer but was also familiar with his condition. Brian’s father is also dealing with the disease, so he was able to become a wealth of knowledge for Ron. He answered countless Parkinson’s questions and gave Ron some insights on what to expect as he goes through this journey.

Prior to starting his physical therapy, he was taking a lot of spills onto the ground. To help him improve his balance, Brian used our state-of-the-art overhead track and harness system and showed him how to slow down and walk out of any situation. Upon completion of Brian’s Parkinson’s specific exercises, Ron is then turned over to one of the equally awesome Aides Fred, Bryce, and Jose for another thirty minutes of general exercises. Whether he’s having a good or a bad day, Ron says it’s always uplifting to enjoy his therapists’ company and encouragement.


Most of the patients that visit Rausch PT get better and don’t come back, but Ron knows he will benefit from continuous care. His physical therapy program will keep him moving, feel supported, and help him remain independent.

Brian Frank

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