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Army September 13, 2012
LAC Bill Solomou discovers that a PTI's role is
not just about keeping people fit.
I had to start
-- LACW Sam Millen
Fighting fit: LACW
Sam Millen had a special
developed by PTI Cpl
Matt Loadsman after
brain surgery left her
with limited mobility and
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
UNBEKNOWN to many mem-
bers the role of Physical
Training Instructors (PTI) is not
only making personnel sweat,
they also assist with rehabilitation train-
ing.PTI Cpl Matt Loadsman said as long
as a member had the all clear from medi-
cal personnel to start exercise they could
self refer. However, many members were
referred to them by physiotherapists and
"Ailments range from lower limb inju-
ries right through to back injuries and
shoulder rehab," Cpl Loadsman said.
"We structure our gymnasiums
around having all the components to be
able to rehab any part of the body."
PTIs will assess members who come
to them for rehabilitation support.
"We sit down with them and in con-
junction with their medical specialist's
advice we formulate a rehab program,"
One such member is LACW Sam
Millen, who is recovering from major
Two years ago she was diagnosed
with a life-threatening heart condition
and after several unsuccessful operations
a complete body scan was undertaken.
The scan revealed she had a brain
tumour. After it was removed, LACW
Millen was left with limited mobility and
"I had to start again, walking, talking
and even my eyesight suffered after the
operation," LACW Millen said.
"I had to learn to read and write
Once LACW Millen's capabilities
were assessed, Cpl Loadsman was able
to prepare a training routine to assist her.
"The main technique or mantra I have
applied to Sam, as she had to relearn a
lot of her functional movement patterns,
has been repetition," Cpl Loadsman said.
"When we first started she couldn't catch
a ball, now she can."
Cpl Loadsman said as LACW Millen
started to improve he modified the rou-
tine to include more complex move-
ments with an increase in volume and
He said LACW Millen's dogged
attitude and determination had seen her
"Our next phase is water," he said.
"Because of the density of the water
the resistance against the body is much
higher so in Sam's case it will be very
LACW Millen acknowledges that
without the support of Cpl Loadsman,
her recovery would not be at the stage it
"I definitely believe that the physical
training is making a difference," she said.
"I didn't want to be broken, my
desire to strive has been very positive."
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