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Travis Hearn comes home

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Rock Island, ILLINOIS — Travis Hearn, the injured Rock Island Rocks football player who’s been rehabbing at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for the past few months, is now home.

A medical team transferred him from Chicago into the Friendship Manor senior living facility Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re excited that Travis is back here in the Quad Cities, available to all his friends and family and the community which has provided such great support to this young man in an unfortunate situation,” said Ted Pappas, president and CEO of Friendship Manor.

Hearn was injured back on Sept. 22, 2006, shattering parts of his spinal cord during a tackle. He is currently paralyzed from the neck down, but has made progress since the injury, regaining the ability to speak.

The Rock Island senior will stay with his mother in an independent living apartment at Friendship Manor, while Habitat for Humanity gets ready to construct a new home specifically designed for his family and caretakers to provide him specialized treatment.

That home should be ready towards the end of May.

In the meantime, Pappas says Hearn will continue to rehab at their facility, while staff there now get ready for dozens, if not hundreds of visitors.

“We’re working with [Rock Island Coach Vic] Boblett right now so that we can control the traffic,” said Pappas, “first of all for Travis’ own health and welfare, but secondly so that we can have a controlled situation for all our residents as well.”

By Jason Fechner

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