Rick Deluca

Rick Deluca with his therapy team at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital: Lead Therapist Ben Adams, PT, DPT, Emily Hegarty, COTA and Ruth Amagliani, PT, DPT.

Rick Deluca, 63, considers himself “super active”. He lives in Northeaster, CO with his spouse. They enjoy traveling together, and Rick also enjoys fly fishing and hunting. That is, when Rick isn’t working as a full-time heavy equipment operator.

One day, Rick was involved in a front loader accident while transporting pipes at work. Driving the front loader downhill, it buckled up and threw Rick headfirst into the windshield. He remembers being unable to get up and felt paralyzed from the neck down.

At the hospital, doctors diagnosed Rick with an incomplete traumatic spinal cord injury from severe stenosis at C3-4 and C4-5. Rick underwent an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. With surgery a success, Rick would need inpatient rehabilitation before returning home. His neurosurgeon recommended Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital.

Rick is thrilled with the recommendation.

“The nurses and PCTs have been excellent! They are caring, friendly, respectful, and check on me all the time,” Rick said. “The way they all care for me has touched my heart.”

“The leadership team has done an amazing job running this facility,” Rick continued. “The staff they hire is wonderful! Everyone has been so helpful during my stay, and I attribute it to the phenomenal leadership.”

The combination of clinical excellence provided by compassionate caregivers with Rick’s focus and determination produced great results.

“My success is due to pushing myself and following the directions given to me by my therapists,” Rick stated. “But what influenced my recovery the most is believing in God. Life is a gift and we have to nurture it every day.”

“I truly believe it is important to not give up and fight, since I have a lot of life left to live!”

Rick began to see the light at the end of the tunnel when he reached his first milestone — walking eight feet. “I just kept my eye on the prize, which was getting home!”

Before long, Rick claimed that prize, discharging home from NCRH. Rick is most excited about getting back to his hobbies and “just enjoying life”. Right before his accident, Rick bought a 911 Porsche Carrera. He remains determined to drive his dream car — he even kept a picture in his rehab room!

“I would recommend anyone with injuries to come to NCRH,” Rick said, reflecting on his stay. “It has been nothing but a great experience!”