Rhett L.

Rhett L.

Rhett Luecke’s journey has been nothing short of inspirational. Both staff and patients alike at Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital have felt moved by his progress.

An engineer for over 20 years, Rhett is married with two children. "I was living the American dream," he said. That was, at least, until his health began steadily declining two years ago.

undefinedThe decline began with a very small slur in Rhett's speech. About a week later, he noticed he was limping. He could no longer go running and had become noticeably weaker. Rhett met with a neurologist, but initial screening offered no diagnosis. The neurologist then referred Rhett to a psychologist, thinking work-related stress could be to blame. Seeking a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic, Rhett received a diagnosis: neoplastic disorder, an autoimmune disease. By this point, he had deteriorated to the point he could barely speak and couldn't walk.

Rhett began an outpatient program at SIRH, working with physical, occupational, and speech therapists. The program came "highly recommended" to him, and after two years of treatment, Rhett wholeheartedly agrees. "I wouldn't go anywhere else," he said.

Throughout his recovery, Rhett has drawn on two things. The first is the positivity of the staff at SIRH. The other, the encouragement of others in the midst of their own journeys. "Watching other patients come in with something broken, and getting better within four to five weeks, has been so inspirational," he stated. Rhett is grateful that SIRH continues to move him towards his own success, even when he feels others would have given up on him by now.

Success for Rhett means "trying to do something new every week that I couldn't do before." He's excited to report that he can tinker and work out in his garage, doing small repairs for others. Twice a week, Rhett volunteers at his daughter's school. Still unable to walk, Rhett is excited about the upcoming modifications to motorize his wheelchair that SIRH set in place. Rhett continues to work on his speech deficits and looks forward to becoming even more independent within his community.