Channel 4 icon Bob Lobel paralyzed from waist down by neurological disorder

"I’m pretty devastated if you want to know the truth."

Bob Lobel at Granite Links Golf Course in Quincy in 2016. DAVID L. RYAN/Globe Staff

Legendary Boston sportscaster Bob Lobel is facing another struggle with his health.

Lobel, a popular figure at Channel 4 during Boston’s local news heyday in the 1980s, has been diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder caused by inflammation or swelling across both sides of one level or segment of the spinal cord.

The 76-year-old Lobel, an on-air personality at Channel 4 from 1979-2008, revealed in a story reported by The Athletic’s Steve Buckley Monday that he is paralyzed from the waist down.

“They’re treating it and they’re hopeful, but I’m pretty devastated if you want to know the truth,” Lobel told The Athletic.

Lobel took a MedFlight from Fort Myers, Fla., to Boston last week and has been a patient at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center since then.

“I am doing a lot of searching, and there are a lot of machines involved, trying to get some motion back in my lower extremities and even get my balance back,” Lobel said. “I’m getting the greatest care possible.”

Lobel, who has suffered from spinal stenosis for several years, was hospitalized in Florida after feeling severe back pain. While he was there, among those stopping by to check on him was Mike Lynch, his longtime on-air rival at Channel 5 but also a good friend.

“I had genuine personal concern for his well-being,” Lynch said. “Despite the fact we were rivals for more than 30 years, we were never enemies. We were always friends.”


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