Wife told to plan for husband's funeral; a year later he is recovering

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) A year ago, Ruth Meador was told to begin planning for her husband Robert's funeral, but now he is celebrating a year of recovery.

"He got sick in December and couldn't breath," Ruth said. He went to the emergency room and doctors say he had blood clots in both lungs and in his legs. "Robert was given a drug that seemed to be working." Ruth said. However, days later Robert had a stroke.

She rushed him to the hospital where he did not wake up for three weeks. "During that time, they said think of hospice, then on Christmas Eve he opened one eye. That eye was tracking, I knew he recognized us," Ruth said.

Robert arrived at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Lincoln on December 29, 2016. His therapist began working with him right away. "When Rob first came in, he was on a ventilator full time, full support," Madonna Occupational Therapist, Colleen Sankey said. "He was unable to communicate with us or move any part of his body. He had no movement in his arms, not even a thumbs up,"

In the last year, Robert went through Madonna's entire continuum of care: specialty hospital, acute, transitional care, rehabilitation day program and outpatient program. "I could not have done anything I did without them, without their encouragement." Robert said.

With a long road still ahead, Robert is now able to walk. His next goal after the winter months is to learn to drive again.

"It just gives me chills. His determination and his hard work. Throughout all levels of therapy here at Madonna has made him where he is now. He also had a great supporting wife who was at his side from the time he came in and never left his side," Colleen said.

On Thursday, all of his therapists and the staff that worked with him and Ruth got together to celebrate his progress.

"I got to see so many here today, it was wonderful," Robert said.

"Everybody plays a part. People who weren't even our therapist helped us. We've been here so long, known so many people. These are the people in the trenches with us, this is why we are at where we are today," Ruth said.