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Rob Heitz swimming in Lake Michigan

Recovered quadriplegic from Chicago prepares to swim in San Francisco Bay to raise awareness of paralysis. ‘Doesn’t surprise me a bit,’ says mom.

From the beach where he swims on Lake Michigan, Rob Heitz can point out the green facade of the rehabilitation hospital where he began his recovery journey after being paralyzed from the neck down 19 years ago.


Megalodon youth adaptive swim team

Youth Adaptive Swim Team Earns Outstanding Results at Junior Nationals

Six members of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab's recreational swim program — the Megalodons (named for the largest shark of all time, which lived at the time of dinosaurs) — recently won an outstanding 12 medals in Paralympic events at the Moved United Junior Nationals in Denver.


Wheelchair user exercising with their friend

How People With Disabilities Can Overcome Barriers to Physical Activity

Whether people are born with a disability or develop one due to an illness, injury or chronic condition, regular physical activity can help improve quality of life and reduce the risk for other health issues or complications.


Sensory room overview

Behind the Scenes: Sensory Room

Our sensory room offers a customizable experience for patients to explore and is geared toward all ability levels — from those who are minimally conscious to those with behavior regulation disorders. Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is the only rehabilitation hospital to offer this innovative space.

Watch as Alison and Kyra introduce this space and learn more about our Brain Injury program: https://bit.ly/3Or9UYd


Kyle crossing the finish line

Kyle Crosses the Finish Line

At 30 years old, Kyle experienced a rare brainstem stroke causing a condition called locked-in syndrome. Although his cognitive abilities were completely intact, he was unable to move or talk.

Patient Story

Dr. Levi Hargrove featured on CNBC

In the News: Dr. Hargrove Featured on CNBC

CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith recently aired a segment on artificial touch in prosthetic limbs. The story included quotes from Levi Hargrove, PhD, scientific chair, Regenstein Foundation Center for Bionic Medicine, offering expert opinion on the future of bionics.


Patient receiving neurostimulation therapy

Behind the Scenes: SCI Neurostimulation Research

Research led by Monica Perez, PhD, uses a noninvasive neurostimulation treatment to target synaptic connections in the spinal cord. In the process, it improves and preserves physical therapy functional improvements in patients with spinal cord injury — temporarily mending the broken connection between the brain and spinal cord.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for 32nd Consecutive Year

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for 32nd Consecutive Year

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) again has been recognized as the national leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation, topping the U.S. News & World Report list for the 32nd consecutive year. It remains the only hospital of any kind to hold this distinction.

Press Release

Dr. Mitra Lavasani Earns Prestigious R01 Grant from NIH

Dr. Mitra Lavasani Earns Prestigious R01 Grant from NIH

Is there a way to turn back the clock on aging? With a recently announced R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Mitra Lavasani, PhD, director, Translational Cell Therapy Lab, will advance a novel approach that could help find an answer.