Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan

Mark*, a family medicine physician, tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the severity of his symptoms and condition, he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a local hospital and was intubated for 15 days. “He was under heavy sedation and sleeping most of the time. The nurses turned him over at regular intervals,” says his wife, who did not wish to be named.

After spending 15 grueling days in the ICU, Mark’s wife was happy to see his progress and was ready to take him home. But this was only the beginning of his road to recovery. While being extubated, Mark suffered a nerve injury which affected the movement of his wrist and fingers—a condition called Wrist Drop.

After hearing positive recommendations from his colleague (another physician) and reading online reviews, Mark came to CHA HPMC’s Acute Rehab to receive treatment for Wrist Drop. “The Acute Rehab care team made the entire transition smooth. We had never heard about this facility before, but we are happy that we made the right decision to move Mark here for further treatment,” says his wife.

Our interdisciplinary team of health care professionals—doctors, nurses, and therapists—created a personalized treatment plan for Mark. He underwent three hours of physical, occupational, and speech therapy each day. “Since he was intubated, his breathing and voice was impacted. The speech therapist worked on improving his breathing and speech,” says his wife.

Mark and his wife were happy to see a specialized gym with exercise and conditioning equipment like state-of-the-art body weight support systems, balance balls, dumbbells, and mobility tools like stairs and parallel bars, among others. “Apart from the equipment, the occupational therapist also used a laptop to see his typing and evaluate his progress with wrist and finger movement,” Mark’s wife adds.

Due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions, Mark spent most of the time in our Acute Rehab by himself. But his wife says that the nurses and doctors took good care of him, even when they were busy due to high patient volumes. “They supported him emotionally and physically during this time. They regularly checked on him to make sure he was fine and taken care of,” she says. “Since we have religious dietary restrictions, the care team allowed me to bring food for him. They also let me visit a few times for family training and it really helped,” she says.

After spending two weeks in our Acute Rehab, Mark is back home. His wife is confident about taking care of him and credits the family training for this confidence. “CHA HPMC really put him on the right track with rehab and he is recovering well,” she says thanking the entire rehabilitation unit for going above and beyond for her husband’s treatment during this crucial time.
*Patient requested anonymity; real name is not used to protect his identity
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