Years of wrestling with people and crashing cars took its toll on Rob Gaydosh, a patrolman with Richfield Police Department. Pain in his lower back progressively got worse until finally he was having trouble walking.
"Cops are ego guys and don't like to admit we're hurt," he said. My biggest concern was that I would have to have back surgery and not be able to do this job anymore. "That wasn't in the deck. I wasn't going to play those cards."
Dr. Deborah Blades, a neurosurgeon at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center's Spine and Orthopedic Institute, saw a person in pain. "(Rob's) quality of life was significantly changed and he was breaking down."
"Pain is part of the human condition and the toughest of people reduce to just sadness and sometimes despair," said Dr. Blades.
"You could tell she was a listener," said Rob. Together, they made a plan to fix his pain. Dr. Blades told him that when he awoke, he would be out of pain. "I said then that's what we need to do."
Getting back on the road was a big step for Rob. But for him, there was no other option than to return to his night shift.
"I don't know what I would be if I couldn't be a cop," he said.