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OT of the Year: Maggi Pivovar

This home care therapist in Missouri survived a harrowing ordeal to become a devoted advocate for the profession.

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Maggi Pivovar is a home care occupational therapist in Kansas City, Mo. In 2007, Pivovar survived a severe attack of bacterial meningitis and sepsis, which left her in a 3-week coma and with just a 2% chance of survival. Pivovar underwent multiple organ failure, gangrene, a brain injury, skin grafts and double below-knee amputations during her hospital stay.

Today, the devoted mother of 4 has returned to her job as an OT in full force, speaking to patients and medical professionals about her experience and serving as a volunteer for the Amputee Coalition of America, as well as founding a nonprofit organization to help others who have survived meningitis. She has recently begun mountain climbing, and returned from a trip to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming in June 2014. Mount Kilimanjaro is next on the list.

"I know my background as an OT helped me recover and kept me going, as I set goal after goal to heal and adapt to a life turned upside down," said Pivovar. "A life I did not know how to navigate -- a life I was not sure I wanted."

For her dedication to her patients, family and the OT profession, ADVANCE has named Pivovar the 2014 OT of the Year. Read her amazing story in the July print issue of ADVANCE.

Scroll through for a photo gallery of Pivovar in action.

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