When two high school students dreamed of a semester in Sweden, they never thought that dream would include both the northern lights and northern Wisconsin. As fate would have it, those two high school students were Brad and Laura Kildow, currently residing in Spooner. They initially met during AFS student exchange orientation in New York City before heading off into the opportunity of a lifetime; and although they were in separate cities with separate exchange families, they kept in touch via hand-written letters in Sweden and like most high school love stories, drifted apart once they both started attending different colleges. Laura attended Brigham Young University in Utah and Brad went to UW-Stevens Point; but there was a connection that couldn’t be denied and for Laura, a northern California girl at heart, she moved to the Chippewa Valley area with Brad after graduation to finish what started in Sweden.

Brad Kildow spent his career has a forest ranger for the DNR and later teaching forestry at UW-Stevens Point. Both Brad and Laura have always had a deep love for conservation and natural resources as Laura was also a vet tech for wildlife rehab. Retirement brought them to Spooner where two of their three children lived and in his spare time, Brad is a substitute teacher for area schools and forester consultant while Laura enjoys quilting and spending time with her grandchildren.

The Kildows are no strangers to physical therapy and Spooner Health with them 2015 when Brad tore his right rotator cuff. Rotator cuff injuries are common, especially in people over 60, and can either occur from normal wear and tear or from a sudden fall. Sometimes you may not even know you have a torn rotator cuff and other times, you may have trouble raising your arm, feel pain or weakness in your arm and shoulder, or you are unable to lift and move like you normally do. An orthopedic surgeon would determine your candidacy for surgery and from there, you would start a physical therapy program. Brad chose to have surgery with Essentia Health and physical therapy at Spooner Health. Little did he know this would begin a long journey with about every physical therapist Spooner Health has had to offer since.

Brad also had additional surgery on his knee and went on to have back surgery in April of 2019. While he was recovering, he developed a bone spur on his left shoulder. Not to be outdone, Laura fell while hauling firewood and tore her left rotator cuff. Both Laura and Brad had their surgeries last December and celebrated the holidays with their left arms locked down in arm immobilizers. Needless to say, Spooner Health’s physical therapists knew when the Kildows were coming!

Brad says, “It’s actually fun going there. The therapists became our friends and the whole staff is great to work with.” Laura echoes that same sentiment, “Physical therapy is what has kept me going while I wait for surgery. With Brad being in physical therapy as well, the staff at Spooner Health are so flexible and accommodating to keep our appointments together. Everyone is so patient, and they really want our experience to be meaningful.”

For the Kildows, the choice of where to go for physical therapy was easy; Spooner Health Rehabilitation Services has time and time again proven effective in getting them back to doing what they love. From the wide range of therapists with a variety of specialties and interests, Spooner Health physical therapy is a place for anyone to heal better. For more information about physical therapy at Spooner Health, visit www.SpoonerHealth.com/PhysicalTherapy or call 715-939-1745; and next time you see Brad and Laura Kildow, give them a hearty “Hej!”


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