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“My health has been better than it has in 25 years” – Local athlete Rod Hutchins tells story of recovery

UPDATED: AUG 13, 2023

A familiar face returned to the Great Snake River Triathlon, Saturday.

Local athlete Rod Hutchins is overcoming his own physical challenges to compete at his own pace.

Last year, the Directors of the Great Snake River Triathlon honored Hutchins for finishing the Olympic Level Triathlon through his work in physical therapy. This year, he was honored once again, and he was almost unrecognizable.

Rod use to live on oxygen 24/7 and was unable to move without the assistance of the cane. Since last year he's gone through 5 surgeries.

He's most excited about his recovery after meeting with two European Health Professionals.

Hutchins traveled to Houston, Texas to meet with Integrated Health Specialist Professors Irma and Igor Ogorevc. He attributes his recovery to their work.

"My health has been better than it has probably in 25 years," says Hutchins. "I'm not on oxygen, haven't been on oxygen for four days now. You can't tell that I have Muscular Dystrophy or...that I had Activity Induced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension."

The Slovenian professors plan to direct a case study on Hutchins's recovery, which they believe will be able to help people around the world.

As for Hutchins, he was full of energy as he greeted and honored the competitors at the Great Snake River Triathlon.

Rod and his Veteran Dream Team have invited Professors Irma and Igor Ogorevc and their Research Team to Idaho Falls this September to speak on their research and ongoing case study.

Further information to come on Local News 8.

For more information on Rod's journey, click HERE.


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Last year when we saw local athlete Rod Hutchins, he was walking with a cane and was on oxygen 24/7. Today, he's almost unrecognizable.

"I went through five more surgeries that were necessary," Rod said "One of those include getting a spinal stimulator in my upper body because my upper body ended up being paralyzed with pain."

"I had shingles the size of quarters all up and down my arms and across my chest. So after those five surgeries, then we started doing another procedure that would give me a diagnosis."

Rod was diagnosed with Exercise Induced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in addition to Muscular Dystrophy. 

With those added to his already complicated medical history, medical professionals were confident he would never return to the Iron Man course in Kona, Hawaii.

That was until he met Slovenian integrated health expert and founders of Planet of Health Professors Igor and Irma Ogorevc.

"They said, you know what? What an amazing story. You know, you have an uphill climb, but within one year we'll have you ready to to be in kona," Rod said. "First time I had had hope over in three years when (to) the medical profession at their very best, I was a quandary."

With much difficulty, Rod traveled to houston texas for treatment. Rod's longtime friend and Huston, Texas based holistic practitioner Kathleen McGowan says she was heartbroken when she saw his condition.

"He could barely walk. His color was horrific. He just looked very, very, very sick," McGowan said. "And please understand that I'm saying that as a health professional."

Rod tells us the treatment was nothing remarkable but he steadily felt his pain level going down.

"The fourth day I was inspired to try something and I invited the team down in the lobby of the hotel," Rod said.

Then, Rod shocked his doctors and family by entering the hotel swimming pool.

"Here he was just a few days before, barely able to walk on oxygen full time. (He) sounded terrible, looked terrible. And here we walk out to a swimming pool and he announces to us that he was going in that pool," McGowan said.

Rod began steadily walking back and forth, then without oxygen he began to swim.

"I was able to swim 200 yards without oxygen, without pain, doing normal swimming, which I haven't done since Kona," Rod said. "I went one length fully underwater, holding my breath and then came back fully underwater, holding my breath. That day there were no dry eyes."

"My health has been better than it has probably in 25 years."

The doctors in Houston are planning to publish a case study on Rod and his dramatic recovery.

While Rod plans to continue "his race at his pace" by heading back to Kona, Hawaii in the fall of 2024. This time to build awareness for PTSD and veterans nationwide.

For more information on Rod's journey, click HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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