Becky and John hiking the Tetons

Becky and John hiking the Tetons

Hiking has always been a cathartic experience for John and Becky Hagan. Some of the couple’s best memories are of them enjoying nature together. “Hiking is like going to church because it’s so spiritual and rejuvenating with beautiful mountains, trees, wildflowers and fresh air,” Becky says.

The Hagan’s love for the great outdoors kept them moving until nagging injuries slowed them down. John led a busy life as an ophthalmologist who enjoyed running marathons. Becky stayed active by running and later power walking four miles, five days a week.

Eventually, a combination of aging and repetitive activity caused bursitis in Becky’s hips. Like many people, she tried anti-inflammatory injections, which helped temporarily.

Unable to exercise, Becky gained weight, which ultimately led her to seek a permanent solution. James Reardon, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Northland Bone and Joint, performed hip surgery. Ironically, Becky’s husband had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

The Hagans found themselves in need of rehabilitation services and chose North Kansas City Hospital, where they met Jason Calder, a physical therapist.

Exercise and warm water therapy in the hospital’s on-site pool helped Becky regain her strength. “I remember being so weak,” Becky recalls. “As a former physical therapist, I thought I could just exercise at home, but I needed so much more.”

John and Becky hoped to continue hiking, a favorite pastime that started when they married 47 years ago. Their goal was to return to Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, WY.

To prepare the Hagans for their trek, Jason designed exercises to help with balance and coordination. The couple’s hard work paid off, and the hiking adventure proved successful. “We were really surprised that we did so well. Almost everyone we saw was much younger than us,” Becky laughs. She turned 70 in January.

Becky credits her therapy experience for her return to an active lifestyle and praises the hospital’s physical therapists, facility, therapy pool and transition program, which allowed her to continue therapy under the guidance of a hospital trainer.

North Kansas City Hospital provides a full range of physical, occupational and speech therapy services. Learn more about these services at or call 816.691.1795.