Pascal Diebel
“Back to Life”

Pascal Diebel, finally he’s back! He has now taken up his long-abandoned desk at Schwalm Kanalsanierung, facing Angelika Schwalm. No one is as pleased about this as he is himself, but the whole sewer renovation team are delighted about his return. Health reasons meant that the 25-year-old had to take a break from his professional life for a whole year.

Pascal Diebel was born in Bad Hersfeld and started his professional life on August 1, 2015 as an office administrator at Schwalm Kanalsanierung, after his final exams at school in business and management, and an apprenticeship in wholesale and retail trade. Working together with Angelika Schwalm and Construction Manager Michael Draband, he quickly became proficient in the whole subject of sewer renovation, as well as administration, operational planning of the vehicle fleet, maintaining the goods management system, and sales and purchasing. It also helped him that he took a place on the renovation vehicle in order to adopt subject-specific knowledge in the practical use, on top of everything. Yet there’s more. As well as the new job, the new addition to Schwalm is studying business management at the Bad Hersfeld night school – specializing in logistics. This means that in addition to his activity at Schwalm, he will go to lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. to cram and show real stamina. According to Angelika Schwalm, “his excellent comprehension skills and willpower led to us establishing that after just three months of collaboration, Pascal is experienced, has mastered the specialist terminology and can already take on a vast number of tasks independently and responsibly. And the whole sewer renovation team were also pleased to have him in their ranks as a reliable, team-oriented and competent colleagues, because of the high order volume.” 

Pascal Diebel’s hobbies also highlight his ambition. These include motorsport and tinkering with cars along with his friend, Sebastian Schwalm. But he is also passionate about running every day. Here too, the young man is not satisfied with little things. Rather, running a marathon and/or even the “Ironman” (3.86 km swimming, 180.2 km cycling and a marathon run over 42.195 km), preferably on Hawaii, were at the very top of his wishlist. And last but not least, Pascal Diebel was also a keen football referee in the district of Hersfeld-Rotenburg.

Over time, Pascal Diebel developed into a permanent and fixed entity in the Schwalm Kanalsanierung team. His particular hobby horse: the HutlinerPackers®. These are produced in the Schwalm Kanalsanierung workshop and sold by Schwalm Robotic. “Yes, our packers really did it for me, from the beginning,” emphasized Pascal Diebel. “I was happy to put myself into the experienced hands and excellent school of Willi Schwalm, where I learned and experienced everything, really everything, about our mobile special devices. I can now call myself a specialist, according to Willi Schwalm. It is a great feeling when I can give an immediate answer to any detailed questions that arise.” And on the side, the future business management graduate is still completing his apprenticeship supervisor training, so that he can start passing on his knowledge to apprentices as soon as possible at Schwalm Kanalsanierung.

May 2018. Congratulations! Pascal Diebel completes his business management studies, specializing in logistics, with the excellent grade of 2.1. “It was a great moment in my very early professional life. Now it could really get started. I sat down together with Martin Schwalm and formulated goals for my area of responsibility. Including the creation of a completely new goods management system. A fantastic task with lots of responsibility that I wanted to start on right away.”

July 2018. All of a sudden, Pascal Diebel felt immense pain in his legs and knees. He couldn't sit, stand or walk. A first visit to his doctor on June 6, 2018 didn’t really give any clarity around the cause of this severe pain. The result was a doctor’s note for an unlimited period of time and a referral to an orthopedist. This doctor was also in the dark, specialist doctors were consulted. Pascal Diebel had to endure a grueling odyssey of doctors, stretching out over months due to long waiting times. He even had to listen to reproaches of the pain not being real. “When you are stuck at home because of the pain, not coming out any more, and the doctors can’t find an answer, then you can easily lose heart,” explains Pascal Diebel. “The unbearable pain was making me crazy and the overruling question in my head was: There must be someone who can help me”. An initial glimmer of hope appeared when, after umpteen examinations, the orthopedist organized an operation in a specialist clinic. The surgery was to take places on November 27, 2018. But here, something unbelievable happened. Pascal Diebel was sent home with nothing achieved, because the doctor at the special clinic refused to carry out the operation. He was too unsure. “I was angry and upset, and I then went back home with my dad,” Pascal Diebel continues. “I would have been lost if I didn’t have the support of my family and the comfort of all my colleagues at Schwalm.”

December 2018. On December 12, 2018, after being written off sick since the end of July 2018, he finally got an appointment with Dr. med. Gerd Rauch, Specialist Physician for Orthopedics and Accident Surgery, Specialist Physician for Orthopedics, in Kassel. After meeting the patient, he immediately organized an arthroscopy for the beginning of January 2019. “I was so pleased when they notified me of the operation date for my right knee on January 2, 2019,” says Pascal Diebel. “Finally, there was the prospect of success, even if the journey there would take a bit more time.” The operation on my right knee revealed the reason for the intolerable pain. Cartilage damage. "The surgery was successful, and then there was almost eight weeks of recovery with walking aids, followed by the second operation for the left knee on April 10, 2019. Both operations went well and achieved a great outcome. Since mid-June 2019, I haven’t needed the walking aids any more. I go to physiotherapy and am starting to bring my whole body back into shape and into a mobile condition, step by step. I have come back to life and have been back at Schwalm since August. Everyone was delighted, on all sides. Finally, my life can carry on and I am looking forward to everything that I am now facing.

I would like to thank my family, Dr. Gerd Rauch and all my colleagues at Schwalm. Without them, I would never have managed to come this long way.