Philip's story

Photo of Philip Mosner and his therapists at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

Photo of Philip Mosner playing pickleball at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.Philip “Phil” Mosner, a 60-year-old retired butcher from Nanuet, New York, was enjoying a fulfilling life filled with family, work and hobbies. Phil and his older brother had run their family's wholesale meat business for 40 years. When his brother decided to retire, Phil followed suit. Relocating to Florida with his wife, Phil established his own company, Meat Me in Florida, and built a house with his wife Laurie.

“I play pickleball, ride my bike and am involved in the theater,” said Phil. “Life is good.”

However, life took an unexpected turn. His pre-existing conditions—an aortic aneurysm and bicuspid valve—had been carefully monitored for years. During a stay in the hospital for bronchitis, a CAT scan revealed that his aneurysm had reached a critical point.

Surgery was necessary, and Phil underwent the procedure in New Jersey.

During the surgery, Philip had a stroke, leaving him with left-sided weakness, trouble balancing and unable to walk or do everyday tasks. He had to relearn how to do it all.

Before Phil could return to his home in Florida, he’d need more time to recover and a lot of therapy to regain his strength. His wife Laurie chose Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (KIR) – Saddle Brook.

Upon arrival at KIR – Saddle Brook, the physician-led rehabilitation team worked with Phil to put a treatment plan in place. His medical team, including physical and occupational therapists, were mobilized to help him reach his goals.

“I am a very determined person and if I put my mind to something I have a tendency to accomplish my goals” said Phil. “In this case, getting back to sports and my life.”

Throughout his rehabilitation, Phil participated in various therapies and activities, including the six-minute walking test, which he did every Monday. "The first week I walked five minutes and 40 seconds and did 430 feet,” he said. “The next Monday I managed to walk the full six minutes and I did 760 feet."

Phil’s team also incorporated his love of pickleball into therapy. They used a harness system to help support him while he played to work on his endurance and balance.
Phil emphasized how support from his family helped him stay focused. They visited regularly, providing encouragement and motivation.

With the entire care team’s support, Phil gradually relearned to walk, dress himself and perform everyday tasks. “The rehab team has been excellent,” he exclaimed.

As Phil prepared to leave Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, he looked forward to the comforts of home. Since he returned to Florida, “I've continued both physical and occupational therapies,” reported Phil. “I've graduated out of occupational therapy and scored a 26 out of 28 on my last physical therapy evaluation.”

Reflecting on his experience, Phil appreciates the care he received from his therapists. He said, "If you find yourself in a place like Kessler, you should listen to your therapist and what they are trying to tell you and how they are trying to help you.” He also said to be patient. “I learned that I just can’t power through the rehab process.”