Ulises Mantilla was a 21-year-old college student when he suffered a stroke at his home in Newark in 2012. The last thing he remembers about that day is dialing 911. He awoke from a coma a month later in the hospital, unable to walk or perform simple tasks.
Mantilla returned home in 2015, walking with a cane but with strength so limited he could not even grasp a sponge. “I needed to continue outpatient therapy, but the hospital was too far from my home,” says Mantilla, whose therapist suggested the Community Participatory Physical Therapy Clinic (CPPT) in Newark.
“That’s when my life began to change,” he says.
Operated by Rutgers School of Health Professions, the free, student-run CPPT clinic serves the greater Newark community with physical therapy services and education on wellness and health. Mantilla is one of 500 patients served by the clinic since it opened in 2011. Each year, 65 students pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy volunteer, supervised by a licensed physical therapist, as part of their coursework.
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