Wills & Tameka

After watching a video of Terry Willis walking from Huntsville, Alabama to Minneapolis, physical therapist Dr. Tameka Duncan helped him correct a slight limp while during his trek through Clarksville. SUBMITTED

Dr. Tameka Duncan always knew she would be a physical therapist.

From a young age, people told her she has a healing touch, so she made it her purpose to use that gift to help others.

She attended Howard University and received her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. After working in various clinical practices, she felt called to do something more, beyond the limitations and challenges of the traditional clinics.

Duncan stepped out in faith and opened Vitality Sport and Rehab. Her private practice allows her to provide personalized treatment plans for her patients. Duncan said she feels physical therapy is her ministry. Several parents said there is something different and special in her touch compared to other physical therapists.

Duncan specializes in orthopedic care and treats chronic pain including pre- and post-operative therapy and sports medicine screenings and therapy among other treatments. The goal in her treatment protocols is to help people through preventative and rehabilitative services to improve functionality and restore quality of life.

Last week, a few friends tagged Duncan on a Facebook Live event featuring Terry Willis. Willis is also following a calling of his own. After George Floyd’s killing, he went on a one-man 1,000-mile march as a peaceful protest for change, justice and equality. Willis is walking from his home in Huntsville, Alabama, to Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed.

Duncan watched the event live and visually assessed how Willis walked. Her trained eyes noticed a slight limp and that he was in pain. Duncan knew then it was her mission to help Willis complete his journey by serving him in some capacity when he passed through Clarksville.

She reached out to Willis’ team, and they welcomed her offer. Duncan treated Willis twice during his time in Clarksville. She provided a full performance recovery workup and identified a couple issues he was dealing with and gave him a treatment plan to help him avoid injury on his trek.

Duncan’s therapeutic touch was so effective that Willis fell asleep during treatment. Afterward, Willis said he hadn’t realized he needed treatment and was grateful for her help. Before he left, Duncan offered to connect Willis with physical therapists in her network to receive treatments along his route.

Duncan got an unexpected call later from Willis’ team asking for her assistance again when he reached St. Louis, Missouri. The only problem was she didn’t have a license to practice in Missouri. She would have to pass an exam and pay a fee, and that process typically takes several weeks.

Duncan stepped out in faith once more and took the exam. According to the licensing website, COVID-19 significantly slowed the testing process. Not one to be deterred, she contacted the Missouri State Board directly and explained her situation and requested to have the grading expedited. Divine providence was on her side. The Missouri State Board agreed, and three hours later, Duncan was licensed to practice in Missouri. Willis’ team flew her to St. Louis the next day.

“I saw a need when I saw him walking,” Duncan said.

Even though she feels she only plays a small part in Willis’ story, the experience bolstered her confidence. She said her advice is to bravely step out in faith to do what God asks us to do, even if it seems difficult. She said she feels God honors our hearts when we do so.

Vitality Sport and Rehab is at 200 Hartne Court in Clarksville. Call 931-444-3677 or email tduncan@vitalitysportandrehab.com for more information.

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