Robert Swank has dealt with back issues since childhood. He avoided the problem, and when life got busy with his family, he learned to live with it. As a former football player, he enjoyed playing catch with his six kids. He also worked full-time as a forklift driver. Robert would find workarounds to mask his condition allowing him to function day-to-day.
As the pain started getting worse, it became harder to hide. Robert finally gave in and saw his doctor. The visit resulted in immediate surgery. Post-op, Robert knew that he would need continued care. His physicians recommended Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana. After learning more about RHNI’s intense therapy program, he decided it would be the best choice.
From the start, Robert’s family has been there for him. His mom offers emotional support, his fiancé, Erica, stays on top of details in his life, and his son hangs out at the hospital to lift his spirits. Another layer of support comes from the RHNI staff. He stated, “Mariah (OT), Ashley (PT), and Chris (PT) push me. They try new things and push me to my limit. With my football background, ‘I can’t’ and ‘no’ aren’t an option. I’m used to pushing.”
While in recovery, Robert stopped smoking and wants to continue avoiding it when he gets home. Aside from that, his main goal is to walk again. He feels that the more independent he can be, the less stress there is on his family. Being independent for him means going back to work and providing for his family. The thought of playing catch with his kids again brings a big smile to his face.