Dick's Story

Bicyclist puts pedal to the metal during rehabilitation

Riding his bike at 5:30 a.m. was the norm for Dick Fetner.  On July 27, 2014, he set out on his normal seven mile ride. It became not so normal when he rounded a corner and ran right into a branch in the road. He flipped over the handlebars onto the road.

“It was dark out, so my first thought was to get out of the road before I got hit. I tried to move but couldn’t and then I saw headlights,” said Dick.

Fortunately, the car was on the opposite side and stopped to help. He was transported to a Mt. Clemens hospital with a bulging disc, and a bruised and swollen spinal cord.   

“As my family looked into rehab, there were a lot of unknowns about my prognosis. We picked DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) because of its reputation and proximity to our house.  I transferred there on a gurney because I couldn’t walk and had very limited hand and arm movement.”

Dick says he’s amazed at how devoted the RIM staff is.  Everyone was interested in him getting better. By the end of his inpatient stay, he could use a fork and pen and therapists could pull him to a standing position. 

“I still didn’t have any feeling, but was so encouraged because I knew that standing was the first step in walking again.”

The next several months he spent in a step down rehab facility before returning to RIM Sterling Heights as an outpatient.  Today, he still uses a walker but can stand for periods on his own and has better use of his hands and arms. 

“The people at RIM are out of this world. I really feel fortunate that I went there because I get better and better with each session.”