When 44-year-old Robert Bye set out for a Utah ski trip with his family, he was ready and eager to test the jumps he had worked to master over the years. Skiing conditions were ideal as he hit the slopes, applying skill and endurance against the glistening white hills. Yet, when making one of his standard jumps, something went terribly wrong.
Robert missed a proper landing, leaving him with a spinal cord injury and as an incomplete quadriplegic. Nearly three weeks after the accident, Robert’s physician sent him to Mid America Rehabilitation Hospital to give him his best chance of moving again.
At the beginning of his individualized program, Robert was unable to dress, bathe, groom, feed, toilet or transfer himself. As an active attorney, this bothered him profoundly. His occupation was to look for worst case scenarios. However, he soon realized he had to switch and be positive. Determination became his driving force as he worked through three hours of therapy each day.
“This isn’t for wimps!” he says. “My therapists pushed and challenged me beyond what I thought I could do. And they were always supportive.”
Robert’s biggest hurdle was getting over the mental roadblocks he had about not being able to walk. Advanced technologies like HealthSouth’s own AutoAmbulator® helped him overcome such thinking, showing him that small victories can yield big returns later.
With an outstanding rehabilitation team and the determination to not use a wheelchair at discharge, Robert met his goal to return home, using only a platform walker with some physical assistance after two months of therapy.
Robert continued outpatient therapy with a supportive family cheering him every step of the way. He also completed the exercises he learned while an inpatient every day, feeling they helped him get going each morning. He was thankful his HealthSouth team members made his goals their number one priority.