John Smith spent 51 days away from his family while battling and recovering from COVID-19. March 4, John, 51 years old, was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. The last thing he remembers is being wheeled into the hospital. He was intubated for two weeks, ultimately spending more than three weeks there.
John was transferred to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River to begin his rehabilitation journey on March 26. “I couldn’t lift my hands off the bed,” he said. “I felt 80% paralyzed, and prior to Covid-19, I was 100% functional.” John thought he’d never walk again, but he remained grateful to be alive and dedicated to getting a little better every day.
“I never thought I would be able to get in and out of the car simulator in therapy,” he said. “Every day, though, I tried to surpass everyone’s expectations of me. I thought to myself, if I didn’t get better, at least I’m still alive. But I got better every day.” John was able to walk 220 feet with his walker during therapy. His physical therapist, Paul, said John was an inspiration to the entire team.
“John is an example of how determination and perseverance wins,” he said. “He was a privilege and pleasure to work with, always motivated for his therapy and gave it his all. He will be missed by his entire team. We wish him the best at home.”