James Heaberlin

After undergoing surgery on his spine, James came to NCRH to regain his strength in order to care for his stepson.

James Heaberlin rarely ever gets sick. The 82-year-old is a living testament to the benefits of an active lifestyle. James, who has lived in Fort Collins for the past 40 years, and has always been healthy. He enjoys daily three-mile walks with his dog and spending time with his family, including his wife, six children, and 16 grandkids. James is a retired military combat veteran who served in the U.S. Army and completed three combat tours. Retired from banking and insurance, James and his wife spend their days caring for their developmentally disabled stepson and doing household chores.

But one of those chores would wind up changing James’ trend of good health. Working on the garage door at his house, James fell from a ladder. In the fall, he suffered an L4 compression fracture.

Initially, James completed an outpatient therapy program to treat his injuries. Unfortunately, the pain only continued to increase. James elected to have a kyphoplasty — a minimally-invasive surgery to treat a spinal compression fracture. After surgery, James would require rehabilitation.

For his rehab, James chose Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital. He chose NCRH because of its reputation, as well as the recommendation of a close family member who had success at the hospital.

James came to NCRH fully motivated to recover. “My motivation for recovery is that the Lord told me to marry my wife and take care of my stepson,” James stated. “My one and only goal is to get back on my feet and be strong enough to take care of my stepson.”

Working hard on his recovery, James made great progress while at NCRH. He is glad he chose Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital for his recovery. “I absolutely have loved the physicians,” James said, as he prepared to discharge home. “They have always been so interested in helping me, so warm, and just extraordinary. And the nursing staff have been outstanding and always go above-and-beyond!”