West Texas Rehab Center: Robert Flores - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

West Texas Rehab Center: Robert Flores

ABILENE, TX (KSWO)- The therapists at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center in Abilene are turning people's lives around, patients who are battling back from an illness or injury.

Makenzi Henderson with the Raycom News Network made a trip to the center to meet with and introduce you to the patients and therapists who need your help. Tonight, you'll meet Robert - who is in a wheelchair because of a cut on his leg.

"No dude."

"I think I can."

"Oh you think you can? That would be cooler looking."

The way they talk with such ease you might think Robert Flores and Chase Riley were friends. You wouldn't be wrong, they are. But that's not all. Flores and Riley are also patient and physical therapist. Robert is a paraplegic and a patient at The West Texas Rehabilitation Center. Chase Riley is a physical therapist.

"I'm always yelling his name, Chase, Chase, Chase and I'm just like nothing,” Flores joked.

"Because you spend so much time with your hands on them, and working with them so naturally a relationship is formed," explained Riley.

The two have formed that relationship over the past year at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center in Abilene.

"Robert comes in and sees me three days a week and we work for an hour," said Riley.

That work involves stretching, swimming and walking with a frame holding him up and Chase by his side.

"Robert, he is very special. His condition is one that he doesn't know how recovered he will become. It's up in the air but he knows if he doesn't work hard, it could be no more from where he is this moment,” explained Riley.

Robert says he hopes to move on from this moment that is the result of a moment he didn't think anything of at first.

"I was working one day just loading up my truck and a guy was cutting up the field."

That's when a rock kicked up and cut his calf. That small cut turned into a huge problem.

"They're saying it's M-R-S-A, MRSA."

MRSA - which is a type of staph infection - traveled to Robert's spine and paralyzed him.

"This time last year I was in the hospital."

One day, he says he lost hope as he looked back on a life on two feet and forward on two wheels but a nurse helped him find it again.

"She said you're lucky it didn't go to your heart or it didn't go to your brain. If that would have happened it could have killed you. When she told me that, that's when I, um, that's when I realized um you know I get to life, I get to see family, I'm still alive, I still have life. The first time I started moving my toes, they just went crazy. Wiggling up and down."

"So he kind of wakes up every day with a new challenge, new abilities," Riley said.

Robert says he has his relationship with God and Chase to thank.

"Always praying. Always having faith in God. He's been a real big help. He keeps me fighting."

For the Raycom News Network, I'm Makenzi Henderson.

Robert adds that his story is a lesson on the importance of first aid. He says no matter the severity of a cut you get, make sure you clean and bandage it well.

You can donate to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center this Saturday, January 21 through a telethon and live auction. The telethon from 7:00 p.m. to midnight.

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