Sun City Independent: Therapist included in National Registry

Sun City Independent: Therapist included in National Registry

Maintains high peer rating

RAYMOND POPP • July 11, 2022

Raymond Popp, PT, was selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Nationwide Registries Top Doctors of America 2022 Honors Edition for demonstrating dedication, leadership and professional excellence.

Raymond Popp, PT

Raymond Popp, PT

Representing the state as one of the best requires talent, experience and integrity. Popp also brings humility and a personal touch to every patient relationship, according to registry officials. Even more than the value of his service, people remember his way of treating them like an extended member of his own family. Popp has also maintained a positive peer rating. His years of service, along with his level of expertise and several other factors, also contributed tohis inclusion. Popp opened True Care Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in Surprise in September 2015.

Having a talented and good therapist is crucial, but having someone who understands the pain, the struggle and the challenges involved is even more important. Popp has all of that because he has his own story of hardship.

He grew up in Long Island, New York, where he studied business. Realizing that he wanted to help others, he became a volunteer fireman. One day, a pressure irregularity in the hose pulled his shoulder out of its socket, and it took two painful surgeries and two years of physical therapy to put it back. That ended his firefighting, so he graduated and became a stock broker. He didn’t like asking people to part with their money, and he realized how important physical therapy was to helping him heal, so he became a therapist himself.

It took him six more years of school to achieve his dream, graduating in 2001. Then the terrorist attacks happened.Popp lost many friends, former fellow firemen and his neighbor, who was the co-pilot on United Flight 93. But Poppknew he had to pull through so he could help others.

He met his future wife on a blind date in 2003 and five months later asked her to marry him. The happy couple had a child and they moved to Arizona in 2008, where he went to work as a physical therapist.

Then he was stopped at a red light Jan. 6, 2011, on his way to see a patient when a driver smacked into him from behind at almost 70 miles per hour. Popp didn’t know what hit him.

“The last thing I remember was calling my wife from the ambulance to tell her I was in an accident and I couldn’t feel legs,” he explained.

The diagnosis was a subdural hematoma and fractured L-3. He was in ICU for several days, then back again because his brain was swelling. He couldn’t walk, and he couldn’t talk. He was in the hospital for another month for rehab. Again, Popp was determined to overcome his tragedy with the help of his family and friends, his faith in God and the help of the rehab team.

There was only one glitch. His rehab people weren’t very supportive. At first, Popp told the therapist how to help him because she was young and inexperienced. The next therapist would tell him to do things and then walk away and not even pay attention. When she did pay attention, she was rude.

"She yelled at me and she was very disrespectful," Popp said. He was even more determined to get back on his feet and back to work.

“I realized I was going through this for a reason,” he explained. “It made me realize what some patients go through, and I never wanted to be like that as a therapist. If I ever was in the past, I decided never to be that way in the future.”

Slowly, he regained his speech and made his way from a wheelchair to a walker, and then a cane. Popp not only overcame his accident, but he got back to work. His understanding of what his patients are going through allows him to bond with them in an exceptional way, and their healing progress is often seen as miraculous.