Bob Kruse

Bob Kruse likes to claim that his mother was an angel. “She knew I’d never be one, so she taught me how to spot them,” he said. And these days he’s seeing them“everywhere.”
Since a 2008 vehicle accident left him with a crushed ankle and pelvis, Kruse said, “angels”have been walking with him through the rehabilitation process.
After a series of surgeries to fuse his ankle bone and rebuild his pelvis, Kruse was referred to HealthPoint for rehabilitation. “I was apprehensive at first to walk in there,” said Kruse. “I had no idea what to expect.”
What he found was a doctor who looked him in the eye and told him, “You can do this,”and a group of gracious ladies“with wings.”
His first contact at HealthPoint was Eric Graham, his Physical Therapist. “When Dr. Graham told me I could do this, it gave me confidence,” said Kruse. And what he found in his aqua therapy class blew him away.
“They were the sweetest group of gals,” said Kruse, who exercised with them three days a week for the better part of a year. “They went out of their way to make me feel welcome. After being confined to hospital and home, it was refreshing to get out, especially with such good people.”
“Julie and all the PTAs kept me going in the right direction. They gave me plenty of tasks and reasons to start walking again.”
While the warm water washed over his aching body, the conversation and fellowship nourished his soul. They discussed health, shared books and recipes, and occasionally Kruse would join them for their Wednesday lunch date.
“We love him. We miss him,” said Betty Baughman, who regularly exercised with Kruse in the pool. “We have nobody to fight with now,”she joked.
When Kruse graduated to land exercises, he was introduced to Julie Nichols, Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), who made sure he followed through on Graham’s orders. “Her smile and laugh are contagious,” said Kruse. “Julie and all the PTAs kept me going in the right direction. They gave me plenty of tasks and reasons to start walking again.”
Nichols returns Kruse’s affection.“He’s the best,”she said.“He is one of the most motivated people I’ve worked with. Whatever it takes to get better he’ll do. He’s so positive and upbeat. We’ve worked hard together and we’ve become good friends.”
When Kruse was “officially” done with rehabilitation, he missed HealthPoint so much that he joined the health and wellness program on his own. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you can find him there around noon doing table exercises, core workouts, and walking briskly for 30 minutes on the treadmill. If he misses a day, there’s a good chance any number of friends he’s met at HealthPoint will call him, wondering where he was. “I better have a good excuse,” Kruse said. “It’s great to be able to work out at a place where I am surrounded by good therapists and good people that keep me smiling.”
Kruse is slowly getting his life back and recently went back to work part-time as a Food Safety Advisor. He also took up gardening, something that’s been good for the body and soul.
“When you go through life 90 miles an hour with blinders on you don’t see the beauty of this world,”he said.“When you’re forced to slow down, it helps you appreciate what is really important.”
“What’s really important is people,”said Kruse. He is indebted to Graham for working with him on an effective rehabilitation plan, and to Julie Nichols for seeing that he followed through with it and continued to be challenged by it. He is thankful for Dr. Basali and the quarterly pain injections that allow him to function, and last but not least, for his three sons, who he has come to know in a whole new way.
They’re my motivation for getting healthy, said Kruse. “It’s hard to see them worry and be concerned about me. I want to be there for them. They are my motivation to keep moving.”