As veteran cop of 18 years, Rob Gaydosh was fulfilling a childhood dream. But, years of wrestling with people and crashing cars took its toll on Rob, 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."
Together, they made a plan to fix his pain.
"You could tell she was a listener," said Rob. Dr. Blades told him that when he awoke, he would be out of pain.
Getting back on the road was a big step for Rob. But for him, there was no other option. "I don't know what I would be if I couldn't be a cop," he said.
Follow his story and see Rob’s first night back on patrol: