From Barbara:

This was a red-letter, high-fiving, fourth-of-July celebration day. The headline: The casts on BOTH of Bob’s legs came off!!

We arrived at the orthopedic surgeon’s office this morning, as planned, for a check-up of Bob’s legs. Dr. Jebraili had told Bob three weeks ago that if things looked good, he’d probably remove the cast on his left leg. But Bob had been terribly disappointed to learn, at the same time, that the right leg was still in such bad shape that there was no telling when it would be free of its cast. (It has an artificial bone, bolted in place in an extremely difficult surgical procedure, and an ankle that had been shattered in the accident.)

Then, this morning, after looking over the x-rays, the doctor thought a bit, and said to Bob, “Tell you what – I’m going to take off both casts.” He pointed to the pictures. “The left leg has healed nicely. Plus, the right leg is healing – and I think it will do better if you start using it.”

Both Bob and I began to cry with joy. We watched as the doctor opened the casts, removed cotton and bandages, and then – there were his legs – much thinner, the right one somewhat askew, pale but real. Bob gazed at them with amazement, as if he’d never expected to see them again.

He will get new casts that can be worn to give support as he starts to put weight on the legs, and removed when he’s resting. The doctor wrote out his prescription for rehab, shook Bob’s hand in congratulations, agreed that this was a terrific step forward, and told us to come back in six weeks. Wheeled back to the waiting room, Bob gave his news to the assembled patients, and got a cheer.

The news makes a tremendous difference, as you can imagine. Bob’s rehab had entered a kind of slow-down. Because he was unable to put weight on his legs, he was reaching the end of rehab eligibility (circumscribed by insurance regulations), yet was still in need of a program providing medical care, assistance, and enough exercise to keep him moving forward. He was in a holding period, waiting till he could really make progress. With the casts off, the windows of life are now open again.

Bob’s smiles were radiant as we waited for the Para-Med van to drive him back. As always, he tried to express his feelings in words. “All my hopes are validated.” You could see in his face that he was searching for a way to define the moment. “I can see the power of family and love. Now I’ll count my blessings and step up to the plate.”

We give thanks.
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