Paraplegic Loomis athlete gets back into action

By: Stephanie Breitbart, Special to the Loomis News
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A devastating injury and a recent medical problem haven’t stopped a Loomis man from enjoying an active lifestyle. Twenty-five years ago professional skier Bob Vogel experienced an injury while performing a ski stunt, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. However, he has never let his disability hold him back. “Main thing is I’m a dad,” said Vogel, 50. “I have a 9-year-old daughter, I snow ski and teach adaptive snow skiing. I ride a hand-peddled bike and also kayak.” Vogel, a writer for “New Mobility,” a national magazine for anyone that uses wheelchairs, had to put his active lifestyle on hold after a slight bump on his foot took a turn for the worse. “I had broken my hip and was home recovering with a brace when I bumped my left heel,” Vogel said. “I noticed the typical pressure ulcer. First there was a red area, then it turned black and started to get bigger.” Although the size of the ulcer was only as big as the head of an eraser, Vogel had it looked at by his primary care physician who immediately referred him to Sutter Roseville Medical Center’s Wound Care Center. Debbie Murray, a physical therapist at the clinic, wasted no time in working to heal the pressure ulcer. “As a journalist, I’m really aware on how insanely fast this can get out of control and you can lose a limb,” Vogel said. “My doctor sent me to Debbie just in the nick of time.” Vogel spent the next four weeks going to the clinic for care and said Murray worked her magic every time. “At each stage of the healing, she knew what kind of product she needed to put in there to make the wound heal,” Vogel said. “With any kind of pressure ulcer, that expertise makes all difference in the world.” Vogel said Murray educated him at each appointment, letting him know exactly what she was doing. “Unfortunately, with paralysis I’ve become a patient a lot, and Murray explained what was going on with my body and that helped my healing,” Vogel said. “She really included me as part of the healing process, and to me, that’s vital.” A month after his first appointment with Murray, Vogel’s pressure ulcer was healed and he went back to participating in the activities he loves. Vogel gives credit to the knowledgeable staff at the Wound Care Clinic for the successful outcome. “I would absolutely recommend Sutter,” Vogel said. “I would talk to other members of the wound care staff and I could tell this was the way they all handle things. I would recommend the staff, absolutely.” Stephanie Breitbart is a spokesperson for Sutter Roseville Medical Center.