Bill McGuire lives and works in Fort Worth. He owns a construction and home inspection company, so he’s always on the move. As someone who has rarely missed a day of work, testing positive for COVID-19 came as a real shock to Bill. When he got the results, he immediately stayed home and quarantined.
At first, Bill though it wasn’t going to be so bad but the symptoms of COVID-19 came on fast. By day two, he lost his appetite and felt winded just watching TV. The next morning, he could barely make it to the kitchen. Panic set in but Bill’s quick thinking may have saved his life. He grabbed his phone, struggled to get to the front door to unlock it for emergency crews, then collapsed. With every remaining ounce of effort he had left, Bill dialed 911. He was nearly incoherent, but paramedics arrived soon thereafter.
Bill spent the next month and a half fighting for his life. He was put on a ventilator and lost nearly 100 pounds – much of it muscle. Bill recalls what it was like when he was finally released from the hospital, “I lost everything. I couldn’t walk or talk and had no strength or endurance. I also had tremors and numbness on my right side.”
Going from a person who was always on the go, to nearly zero mobility was emotionally traumatizing. But Bill wasn’t giving up, and neither was his daughter, Abby, who began researching rehabilitation facilities to help get Bill back on his feet. She chose Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Fort Worth (BSWIR – Fort Worth).
Upon admission, Bill’s goal was to walk without a walker. The therapy team and physicians at BSWIR – Fort Worth got to work developing a treatment plan to help Bill get to where he wanted to go.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy were critical in in his recovery. Through endurance and gait training, Bill worked on reconditioning his muscles and relearning how to walk. Progress came quickly through determination. Before long, Bill had built up the strength to take his first steps in two months without the walker or any assistance. This was Bill’ turning point.
From that moment on, Bill knew he was going to get better. He also shared that he learned a lot about himself going through the physical and emotional challenge of rehabilitation. One thing was that he had to learn how to accept help, something that was initially hard but it paid off immensely when he fully committed to the plan.
Bill shared, “You can tell it’s not just a job to the team, they love being here. The therapists and the staff were so encouraging. When you get the kind of care, it makes you want to do better.”
Looking back, Bill knows he beat the odds and he isn’t taking that for granted so he has already set his next goal – to get back to hiking, a favorite hobby. He also is looking forward to expanding his life in new ways. What that means, he’s not sure yet but said, “The Lord has a plan for me, and I look forward to seeing what it is.”