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On Friday, 20th of July, Rob Kyler went on a bike ride he’s been traversing for 20 years. Unfortunately, it turned out differently than the uneventful past. While going downhill in Westfield, Rob suffered a bike accident which has resulted in a spinal cord injury involving his mid-back, and leaving him with paralyzed legs. He was wearing a helmet and had no head injury but did also sustain an irritation of the spinal cord in his neck, resulting in pain in his arms, which hopefully will be temporary.
While going downhill, as he began tucking, his bike wheel leaned to the shoulder and once their caught the gravel, resulting in Rob literally going head over heels as he abruptly stopped. The helmet took impact on the front and side, likely leading to a direct hit or whiplash to the lower cervical (neck) spine and ending up with a full fracture of his thoracic (mid) spine and rupture of the spinal cord at the T8 level. Rob was immediately aware after the accident that he could not feel or move his legs and that his arm was sore.
He underwent an operation to stabilize and fuse his thoracic spine later in the day Friday at UPMC Hamot hospital in Erie, PA and underwent a second surgery to relieve some disk impingement in his cervical spine on Sunday, July 21st. He received all the “right care” immediately, including steroids before transport and was airlifted over to Hamot, and then had the surgery.
As a result of the accident, he has no feeling or voluntary muscle use in his legs and has some shooting pain in his hands. He is receiving excellent care at the hospital and the next step after stabilization will be rehabilitation, which is expected to take a few months and will likely occur in Atlanta or Pittsburgh. Nancy, Rob and Rob’s brothers Karl and Haas, along with Rob & Nancy’s kids Jordan and Alex are together in Erie and appreciate very much the love and support from the community here.
Stay tuned for updates on Robert's progress and in the meantime, please send positive thoughts and prayers for the Kyler family.