"Not a matter of endurance. It's tolerance"
Officer Steven Kotlewski is overcoming hurdles in his recovery from being shot nine times while responding to a domestic disturbance in November.
Literally, hurdles -- foot-high black-and-yellow bars, set on the floor in the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab DayRehabCenter in Arlington Heights.
With a safety belt around his waist attached to a weight stack by a pulley, the Bensenville police officer concentrated Tuesday on stepping over the hurdles -- forward, backward, side to side -- without the use of his cane. A therapist stood behind him, a light grip on the safety belt.
It's grueling work for the 38-year-old Kotlewski. And after about a half-hour of therapy, he took a break to lie down, until the pain -- it worsens the longer he is standing -- subsided enough to resume his work.
It's not a matter of endurance, it's tolerance.Officer Kotlewski
And so goes another day on Kotlewski's journey to recovery from the Nov. 5 shooting, when eight bullets pierced his legs, an arm, his back and torso. A ninth lodged in his protective vest.