By: Well Care, LLC Editor
Malin Wrenn is not your typical home health Physical Therapist Assistant. She works in the office of Well Care’s Wilmington headquarters as a member of the Performance Improvement and Education team. Some colleagues describe her as a survivor after a horrific car accident in 2016 changed the course of her PTA career. But Malin hasn’t let that stop her from making an impact as a Physical Therapist Assistant. While she is no longer in direct patient care at the moment, Malin is still making a difference to her teammates and Well Care’s patients.
Here’s her story:
Hometown: North Caldwell, NJ
Job title: Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Time at Well Care: 13 years
Q. Why did you embark on a career in health care?
A. I always wanted a career in health care. I love helping people, and knowing that I’ve done something meaningful. I enjoy seeing patients progress back to their natural selves. It’s rewarding to be part of their journey to healing.
Q. Why have you chosen a career specifically in home health care?
A. Home Health is different than other health care settings. It’s more lucrative than other physical therapy opportunities in outpatient or acute care facilities; and it also provides some flexibility. When I began my home health career, I loved being out on the road seeing patients in their own environment, and not being stuck inside of a building.
Q. Why did you decide to join the Well Care team?
A. When I started working here in 2004, I was looking for a change. Home Health was something that piqued my interest, though it was something I never seriously considered until that time. I heard about Well Care’s positive reputation throughout the community and decided to apply. Thirteen years later, the company is continuing to grow. It’s a great place to work.
Q. What happened on June 14, 2016?
A. I just left a patient’s house and was traveling to see my next patient. I remember driving around a slight bend on Kerr Avenue in Wilmington when out of nowhere, a white SUV came towards me. It happened so fast. The SUV smashed the front end of my car in a head-on collision.
I remember lying on the ground not sure if I was dead or alive. Strangely, I was not in pain. When I realized I was alive, I talked to God and asked him not to let me die. I could only think of my three children who still needed me. I screamed for someone to help me; and I heard a woman say, “I can’t help you, but I can pray with you.” Before I knew it, a firefighter was standing over me saying, “Just stay with me.” I broke my femur and arm, spent six weeks in the hospital and underwent three major surgeries. I just recently completed an 11-month rehabilitation process. Because of the injuries I sustained in the accident, I’m no longer in the field. But I’m now working in Well Care’s Performance Improvement and Education Department.
Q. What do you like most about your job, and why?
A. The patients. I love the aging population in particular. Going into patients’ homes is personal; and my patients have welcomed me into their homes like a member of their own family. It truly warms my heart. I especially love being there for the patients who do not have family or friends living nearby. Many of my patients have shared stories about their children and grandchildren. Everyone has a story; and it’s nice to hear them tell their stories.
Also, the Well Care team has stuck with me through thick and thin, two pregnancies and the horrific car accident that left me with lasting disabilities and nearly derailed my career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. I could not ask for a better group of colleagues. During the time of my accident, my best friend, Trisha Deane, who’s an Occupational Therapist here at Well Care, launched a GoFundMe page. Friends and colleagues donated money and food to my family. Some of my colleagues even donated their own vacation time; others came to visit me at the hospital. My teammates are not just talented therapists and nurses; they’re remarkable people. The camaraderie we share is incredible; and I’m grateful to work with them every day.
Q. What’s the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A. I’m not sure. My age, I guess.
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A. A friend once told me to always think about how others will remember you. Live your life by spreading love, laughing with friends and being a positive influence. This advice forced me to stop sweating the small stuff in life.