Officer Moldovan, told to expect the worst, said, “Just Watch Me!” and then defeated all the odds.
Sporting his own Diamondbacks jersey, Phoenix police officer Tyler Moldovan threw out the first pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks home opener on April 6, 2023. After practicing the pitch in physical therapy at Rehab Without Walls, Tyler, with the help of his wife, Chelsea, leaned forward in his wheelchair, nose-over-toes to stand and pivot, face home plate, and easily pitch the ball into the glove of the catcher. Tyler’s face broke into a smile and the crowd erupted in cheers. It was an emotional moment!
Officer Tyler Moldovan has surmounted many obstacles since December 14, 2021, when he sustained multiple gunshots, including one to the head, in the line of duty. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, with many life-threatening injuries. After one month, he transferred to Craig Hospital and began a months-long inpatient rehabilitation process. He continued post-acute neurorehabilitation with Rehab Without Walls.
On June 6, 2022, Officer Moldovan was discharged from Craig Hospital to his home with Chelsea. A few days later, he was admitted to RWW where therapy was provided in a clinic setting three times per week and at home two times per week. Chelsea resigned from her job to champion his therapy journey, be his primary caregiver, and do everything possible to support Tyler on his road to recovery.
Officer Moldovan made steady gains. He progressed from a power to a manual wheelchair. Therapy sessions successfully focused on stand pivot transfers which meant Tyler no longer required the mechanical lift to move from his chair. Adaptive transportation was no longer needed so he and Chelsea were able to go on independent outings using their own vehicle. Tyler participated in Camp-With-A-Ramp, adaptive kayaking, horseback riding, and other social and recreational activities. At home, he is increasingly independent, as he makes gains with dressing and self-care, and participates in household tasks.
Officer Moldovan’s therapy team at RWW nominated him for the Arizona Workers Comp Association (AWCCA) Rehabilitant of the Year Award stating, “Officer Moldovan’s progress can be attributed to his intense drive, hard work, motivation, his faith, and the support of his wife and community. He puts in the work, day after day, with little complaint, digging harder and harder to reach “unattainable goals” with a positive determination that leaves everyone in awe.”
On May 16, 2023, Officer Moldovan, in the presence of his family, his police leadership, and his RWW therapy team, was named Rehabilitant of the Year. His rehab process is not over. Currently there is no end in sight for what he can achieve!