Holiday Gift of Another Kind


In the spirit of the holidays, we’d like to share a story about a patient who gave the wingtips off his own feet so his physical therapist could walk a mile in another man’s shoes. While this may be mixing idioms, it really happened.

Bob Remillard suffered from peripheral artery disease, had two staph infections and is diabetic. All his complications led to a lower leg amputation at Palomar Medical Center Escondido on July 8, 2020. He was soon transferred to The Villas at Poway to rehabilitate where he said the staff were so great he “was sad to leave.” Upon returning home he had a Palomar Health Home Health Aid and at-home physical and occupational therapy. He said, “They were extraordinary; I can’t say enough about them.” 

He’s now coming to twice-a-week physical therapy sessions at the San Marcos office to learn how to walk with a new prosthetic. Recently Remillard noticed the size of his physical therapist’s feet.

“I said, 'What size do you wear?' He said, "10 and a half.'” That is Remillard’s size.

He said he’d been keeping a pair of almost new black, wing-tipped, Rockport shoes that he could no longer wear. He was so thankful for all the help he had been getting, he wanted Palomar Health Physical Therapist Alec Basa to have them so he brought them in.

Basa appreciated the meaning behind the gift.

“I feel Bob's kind gesture of giving me his shoes meant he trusted me as his physical therapist  and also considered me a friend.”

This holiday season, Bob gave Alec a gift that goes much deeper than just a pair of shoes.

Happy New Year.

Photo caption: Palomar Health Physical Therapist Alec Basa wears the former shoes of his patient, Bob Remillar.

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