Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center

The Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center (RBC) has been helping people for over 60 years. Jackie Rodriguez, Executive Director for The Cowl Center said, “Mrs. Cowl was an incredible lady. She had a vision to create a place that helps provide support programs for people suffering from polio with physical and emotional restoration.” With her compassion, Ruthe B. Cowl helped those with birth defects, strokes, brain injuries, amputations, and other conditions that could affect their quality of life. The Cowl Center’s mission is to assist all individuals with disabilities whose condition can be improved by the rehabilitation services offered by the center regardless of age, origins, race, nationality, creed, or economic status. United Way of Laredo supports the center with financial resources. United Way’s support helps The Cowl Center to provide vital program services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. The also help patients with pain management, wound care, counseling, and social services.

Robert Lozano was hospitalized last year after contracting COVID-19. During his hospitalization Mr. Lozano was intubated and placed in an induced coma for 25 days. While in the coma, he was diagnosed as having had a stroke. The stroke was attributed to a blood clot caused by the virus.

Mr. Lozano’s road to recovery has been a long one. He was transferred from the hospital to a long-term recovery facility. By trade, Mr. Lozano worked in carpentry. He was able to work without limitations and provide for his family. Mr. Lozano lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a two-story house. His bedroom is on the second floor, but for now he is staying on the first floor in a hospital bed.

Dr. Gustavo Villarreal, referred Mr. Lozano to The Cowl Center for skilled physical and occupational therapy. This therapy will help him to address the physical deficits left behind. Mr. Lozano is fortunate to have survived both the COVID-19 virus and the stroke.

When Mr. Lozano first arrived at The Cowl Center, he was transported via ambulance and was on a stretcher due to his deconditioned physical state, unstable mobility, and inability to sit or stand. Today, Robert has met many goals such as sitting unsupported alongside his bed, standing with little assistance and walking using a walker with contact guard assistance for safety due to his rapid fatigue. Robert and his family feel that without the help of the dedicated and skilled therapists and rehab personnel at The Cowl Center, his current recovery status would not have been achieved. They are extremely grateful that they found the incredible resources at the Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center.

Robert Lozano is just one example of the lives you touch when you give to United Way of Laredo. With your support, United Way is able to provide financial resources to agencies like Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation Center to ensure they are able to provide programs and services to those in need. For more information on how you can support the United Way of Laredo or any of their network of agencies contact the United Way at or visit their website at If you are in need of community resources and are not sure where to turn dial 2-1-1 for information on programs and services in available in our community.

Posted in Human Interest Stories


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