When Rick Distler arrived at Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of Denver, he had already spent months in the hospital. His hospitalization was the result of a spinal abscess and ankle infection that resulted in a non-traumatic spinal cord injury. The injury left Rick with minimal movement and little-to-no sensation in his legs. He spent most of his day in a recliner chair or bed, as it was all he could tolerate.
Rick, however, was motivated and driven to regain his mobility and get his life back. That all began to happen during his inpatient stay at Vibra. He worked hard each day with his therapists on key tasks. These tasks included getting out of bed, slideboard transfers, using a wheelchair, getting dressed, and using the bathroom. When he wasn’t in therapy, Rick took advantage of no longer being confined to his recliner. He spent much of his free time outside in the courtyard and socializing with the staff.
As he progressed, Rick exceeded expectations and began standing in the parallel bars. This led to taking a few steps, then to walking with a walker. He became independent with getting in-and-out of bed, transferring, dressing, using the bathroom, and propelling his wheelchair.
On his final day of therapy, Rick walked 50 feet with the walker and no physical assistance. He will continue his recovery journey at home with the support of his wife and kids.