Dr. Michael Thomas

Dr. Thomas and his wife, Carole, had a wonderful experience at RHNI as he recovered from surgery on his spine.

Retired after 33 years as a urologist, Dr. Michael Thomas lives a very active life in Elkhart with his wife, Carole. Dr. Thomas particularly enjoys playing golf as a part of his social and physical life. But back problems left his future on the links in doubt.

Having previously had back surgery, Dr. Thomas again faced a decision whether to undergo elective surgery on his spine. “I knew I needed this procedure, as I didn’t want to be a couch potato,” he said. So Dr. Thomas decided to have an elective lumbar spondylosis surgery. Following the surgery, he required intensive inpatient rehabilitation.

While at Elkhart General Hospital, a clinical liaison spoke with the Thomases about rehabilitation and what it entails. Carole then toured the two inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in the area and decided upon Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana for the next phase of her husband’s recovery. “I liked how the parking lot is right out front of the hospital, how the hospital was very clean, and that it is a free-standing rehabilitation hospital,” she noted. Dr. Thomas also found comfort in knowing an employee at RHNI from their days working together at Elkhart General.

Dr. Thomas is very satisfied with his wife’s decision and impressed with his experience at RHNI.” Therapy is three hours per day, but the team split it up to give me breaks so I can catch my breath,” he explained.

Dr. Thomas also noted some staff members who really stood out to him. “Louie is a star, and Teagan is really good,” he said of his two therapists. “Their communication was exceptional, very supportive, and they had goals for me. Both Louie and Teagan set aside time to educate my wife through family training on things I will need help with at home and ordered equipment to get me home safely.” The doctor also noted a nurse, Kristin, who had a positive impact on him, and the patient care technicians who “always helped with my showers and shaving, but allowed for me to keep my independence.”

Similarly, Carole expressed her appreciation to the receptionists at RHNI. “After a visit with my husband, I would go to get a milkshake for him, and they would always bring it up to him,” she recalled with a smile.

Dr. Thomas is looking forward to returning to his previous norm on the golf course with his friends, as well as doing pilates with his wife.

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