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Regaining her independence: Shirley Horine’s story

After attending a community event with friends, Shirley Horine, a retired first grade teacher, contracted COVID-19.

“The virus was bad,” she said. “It even affected my brain. I don’t remember much.”

Shirley was treated at a local hospital, but the virus left her so weak she could only walk very short distances and was unable to return home safely. With the goal of regaining her independence, Shirley was transferred to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Columbia.

Although therapy was challenging, Shirley recalls it was exactly what she needed to regain her strength.

“They were all wonderful,” she said of her therapists and the staff who treated her. “The doctors checked on me every day and asked me if I was in pain.”

Small actions made a big difference in her stay, as well. The team at Encompass Health Columbia filled her cup of water several times a day, never letting it run dry. She still uses that cup, and said it reminds her of the great care she received at the hospital.

Shirley was able to return home independently after her stay at Encompass Health Columbia, using only a rollator for assistance.

“I did not want to leave because I felt so comfortable,” Shirley recalled. “I would tell anybody to go there.”