Living With Spina Bifida

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Betty says rob is the only wheelchair bound person in North America to kill 4 rare types of wild turkeys.

Rob Salter has been fighting those negative perceptions his entire life.
He has Spina Bifida, but he's beating the odds.

“I just had a funny feeling or a warning that things might not be all right.” Betty Salter said.

Those were Betty’s thoughts just days before her son rob was born with Spina Bifida.

“It depends on the severity of the disease, sometimes it just looks like a bulging in the backbone.” Pediatric Neurologist Muhammad Salim said.

“They told me when he was born that he would not live to be past a year and a half.” Salter said.

Despite that news, Betty never gave up hope for her son.

“You're very upset when something like this happens and when you get over your pity party, you go with life and do whatever you need to do.” Salter said.

And for Betty, that was giving her son a life he would enjoy.
Months went by... and then years, and Rob was still alive.

“He was always so tough, if we were about to leave and go to the hospital as long as I was cool and calm and made him think we were just going for a checkup than he was fine.” Salter said.

By the time rob was a teen, he became interested in horses.

“Showing horses mainly and I’ve won the world.” Rob Salter said.

He's won a world title 12 times.
Rob also started getting into hunting.
And as of today, Betty says rob is the only wheelchair bound person in North America to kill 4 rare types of wild turkeys.

“He’s functioning, he graduated from high school. He’s done all the things that everybody else did.” Betty Salter said.

She says that just because her son is disabled doesn't mean he's limited on the life he can have.

“We've tried to make sure he hasn’t missed anything along the way,” Salter said.

Rob just celebrated his 40th birthday.
He says for anyone else living with a disease, the key is…

“Positive mental attitude always.” Rob said.

And Dr. Salim says if you have Spina Bifida, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should count yourself out.

“Their diagnosis of Spina Bifida doesn’t mean that it’s a death sentence.” Salim said.

“He did so well and surpassed every prognosis they ever gave me.” Betty said.

Rob's family is working on contacting the national wild turkey federation to get rob recognized for his accomplishments.

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