We would like to memorialise people who have worked so hard in our field of work so that they are not forgotten. Please read the comments below that have been left about colleagues that are no longer with us.
Todd Henkelmann – passed away 28th August 2022
I was so fortunate to be able to meet Todd in San Francisco in 2001 at the IX International Facial Nerve Symposium. For me this was at the start of my journey in Facial Rehabilitation and it was the first time that a physiotherapist from the UK had attended this international meeting.
I had heard about of some of the Physiotherapists who were presenting papers and leading sessions. Having read some of their work being able to meet in person those that had inspired me was truly an awesome if not slightly daunting experience.
I had come across what I regarded as the ‘Bible’ of the Facial Nerve. The Facial Nerve 2nd edition by Mark May and B.M Schaitkin. 1999. The chapter on Physical Therapy and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation written by Todd Henklemann had a richness of information, knowledge, and new ways of thinking and approach to neurorehabilitation. For a therapist to be acknowledged and included in a such a medical tome demonstrated the level of expertise that Todd had and also the high level of regard and respect that his medical colleagues had for his work in this specialist field.
Reading that chapter, attending his presentations and also having the opportunity to meet with him informally at the conference ,sharing ideas and opinions, influenced and enriched my own practise for the better in so many ways. There are people that one meets during one professional career that have a lasting effect on the individual but also indirectly on so many others. What Todd probably never truly appreciated was the wider impact he had not only on the therapists whose practice he influenced directly as it was for me, but also internationally as myself and others therapists disseminated his knowledge and expertise worldwide.
Following the Facial Nerve Symposium in 2009 the UK therapists set up the specialist interest group Facial Therapists UK and subsequently with their worldwide therapy colleagues, established Facial Specialist International which now has a membership of over 100 and continues to grow. In truth without knowing it Todd was with us right at the beginning at its inception.
I will always treasure the personal welcome, kindness, warmth, generosity of spirit and sharing of his expertise that he gave to me. He inspired and touched the lives of so many others, therapists, medical teams and patients worldwide.
Thank you Todd
Rest in Peace
When Todd began training more than 25 years ago, I knew immediately that he would take this program and run with it. He was a sponge when it came to learning facial retraining. He took in every word. He sought out information. He was smart, thoughtful, kind, and compassionate.
Todd was a kindred spirit in those early years when we were so few and far between. He will be missed and fondly remembered as a pioneer in the community of specialist facial rehabilitation therapists.
When I was first tasked to see patients with facial nerve paralysis, I was searching for resources and came across Todd’s work at Pittsburgh. I never met him personally but in providing education and resources, he provided a patient centred approach, was humble in his knowledge and practical in his application. Way before therapeutic alliance was a trend! I am forever grateful. Todd was pivotal in my understanding of facial rehabilitation. He will be missed. A true pioneer in the field.
Todd was a dedicated facial and TMJ/TMD therapist. I met Todd for the first time in Toronto at a facial therapist meeting held by the Acoustic Neuroma Association of Canada. When he told me he had been diagnosed with ALS in April 2022, I had hoped he would get more of his “bucket list” done. He will be missed!