Robert B.

Robert B.

Robert Bills and his girlfriend, Wendy, took a trip to the beautiful coastal sand dunes near Pismo Beach with their friends. After several days of fun and relaxation, the trip was coming to a close. The plan was to head back home on New Year's Day. However, things quickly changed, as their lives would be forever altered that day.

On that day, Robert and his best friend nearly lost their lives in an ATV accident. Air lifted to nearby hospitals, the injuries both men sustained were life threatening. After almost six hours of surgery, Robert’s doctors delivered crushing news.

Robert may never walk again.

“The doctors said the nerves in his back were severed," Wendy recalls, "leaving him with little to no chance to walk”. This devastating prognosis left everyone fearing the worst. But somehow, through support from loved ones, Robert was able to face the challenges ahead.

Once stabilized, it was time for Robert to transition to a rehabilitation hospital. He didn't hesitate when selecting a hospital. Having heard great things from friends and family, Robert and Wendy chose San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital (SJVRH). They were confident they made the right decision.

“My inpatient physical therapist's name was MaryEllen," Robert recalls. "I’ll never forget her and I’m sure she’ll never forget me,” he shares with a smile.

“MaryEllen knew just how much to push me or not. I was amazed at just how much I learned from her.”

“Even beyond that," Wendy added, "she took care of me, too. The support was incredible”.

Robert became stronger and progressed with therapy. He had made enough progress to discharge and begin outpatient therapy.

"Everyone upstairs (inpatient therapy) was so accommodating," Wendy notes. "The case manager, Lisa, went above and beyond. Countless times. She is truly an incredible and caring person."

“MaryEllen even took the time to introduce me to the outpatient therapist, Benilde," Robert adds. "That meant the world to me."

Robert transferred to outpatient therapy services at SJVRH. He worked tirelessly with Benilde, his outpatient physical therapist. "With her support and dedication to improve, I’ve been getting better," Robert states. "She’s tough but I need that."

“I owe my success to so many people at this hospital. I’m so thankful for San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital."

Today, Robert has nearly accomplished his goal of independent walking with a single point cane. Robert continues to make great progress. We're so proud of him!