October 26, 2013 started like a normal workday for Deputy Robin Hopkins. As a 15-year veteran of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s department, she had never experienced a day like this. Around 11:30 a.m., she got a call on her radio saying, “Officer down!” Robin quickly raced to the scene. A police chase had ensued across the city and a man fired shots at police officers. She caught up with the chase at the intersection of 4th Street and Schulte Road. Then suddenly, Robin heard two loud gunshots, hitting her just below her bulletproof vest in the femoral artery, blowing her femur away. She was severely injured and lost over two and half liters of blood. Thankfully, she received immediate medical attention from the firefighters working across the street from the scene.
Robin spent one month in the hospital before coming to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of New Mexico. Before her arrival, she had undergone four surgeries to repair her leg, but was ready to work on healing and living again. Robin chose HealthSouth because everyone at the University of New Mexico Hospital said, “HealthSouth is the best!”
Initially, Robin was unable to walk, shower or go to the bathroom by herself. She was unable to put weight on her left leg and couldn’t bend her knee more than 20 degrees. It took two people to move her because of the severe pain she suffered. When she was asked what her rehabilitation goals were, she replied: “Get to the bathroom, toilet and shower. Have more bend in my knee, get more rest, get stronger and return to work.”
“I knew if I got out of bed and gave therapy my all, I had the best chance at recovery,” Robin says. Just getting up on my own was victory.”
Within two weeks of being at HealthSouth, she had accomplished all of her goals. Robin believes a huge part of her success is due to the compassion and commitment HealthSouth shows for its patients. HealthSouth’s outstanding rehabilitation team members were kind and “they pushed me beyond what I thought I could do,” Robin says.
During her stay at HealthSouth, she pushed through the pain as she completed her three hours of therapy per day, working toward her goals and spending time stretching her leg. She felt as though she’d left HealthSouth with a sense of empowerment, knowing how to take care of herself.
After walking out of HealthSouth using only a cane, she returned home to her husband and sons, ages 23 and 2. She attends outpatient therapy at HealthSouth and is constantly challenged by her physical therapist. Yoga is a big part of Robin’s life and her therapist found ways to incorporate yoga into their sessions.
Robin says her experience at HealthSouth was much better than she could have ever expected. “HealthSouth inspired me to do what I didn’t think was possible. It taught me how to return to life,” she proudly states.