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Coach Prime works out with patients at UCHealth

The University of Colorado coach shared his own experiences dealing with injuries
Deion Sanders visits UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital to visit the rehabilitation center

Jon Burianek worked for the CU Athletic Department for 38 years. Now 78, he completed an evidence-based treatment program at UCHealth this week. Before continuing he exercise routine — designed to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease I at home, he had a chance to workout with Coach Prime. 

Deion Sanders, otherwise known as Coach Prime, visited UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital on Wednesday to join nine patients as they worked with physical and occupational therapists in the rehabilitation clinic. 

The University of Colorado coach shared his own experiences dealing with injuries on and off the field. He also provided words of inspiration to the patients.

“When he talks, he’s always so positive. We needed that for the program. We need that as a society,” Burianek said. “He finds the good in everybody.”

Peter Stucchi, the supervisor of rehab services, said Coach Prime was able to relate with all of the patients, from the young athlete working her way back to the volleyball court to the man who is coming back from his second knee replacement.

“When something like this – a positive stressor – comes along, it’s wonderful on a patient’s nervous system to calm it down. So truly, the distraction of something exciting like the coach coming in to talk to us is amazing,” Stucchi said.

The UCHealth clinic helps patients who are recovering from a variety of illnesses from strokes and breast cancer to knee replacements and sports injuries. Patients receive care from the clinic weekly while others attend more often.

“When I come to a hospital like this and I’m seeing some of the patients that are rehabbing and getting themselves back together that have been hit with some type of adversity and you still see the smile and the love and passion inside of them,” Coach Prime said. “And then you see the assistants and the associates that are helping them get their form back. It’s a beautiful thing. I love the unity in that.”


Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

Macie May has built her career in community journalism serving local Colorado communities since 2017.
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