Kimberly “Kim” Bush, a 59-year-old mother and grandmother, described herself as completely healthy. “I did regular activities, did not take any prescription medication and had no illnesses,” she recalled.
A busy, full-time sales associate, Kim arrived at work one day resolved to be productive despite what she thought was a sinus infection. She soon learned that five of her colleagues had just tested positive for COVID-19. The next day she woke with a high fever.
Her son took her to the hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19.
Kim’s health declined fast; breathing became difficult and she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Soon, she was placed on a ventilator: “I don’t remember much. I do remember they put me on my stomach to help with my pneumonia.”
Kim finally stabilized, but was too weak to get out of bed, walk or even stand by herself. It was clear that she would need specialized care to get back on her feet. The hospital team suggested that she use Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) – Lakeway for her inpatient rehabilitation.
Once transferred, Kim’s rehab team at BSWIR – Lakeway worked with her and her family to develop a comprehensive program to reach her goals. “I wanted to get back to everything I did before COVID,” recalled Kim. “I wanted to work, go to the park, go to church—I just wanted to get back to normal life.”
Therapists began helping her regain the strength needed to stand independently and dress herself. Physical therapy Kim focused on building Kim’s strength, balance and endurance. She worked on exercises to improve her breathing and learned new strategies to do everyday tasks safely.
She progressed from her wheelchair to a rolling walker and then to walking unassisted. “I think what helped most was my therapist listening to me,” said Kim. “Then I was able to meet my goals.”
Kim recalls the moment the critical moment in her rehabilitation journey. “The first time my physical therapist put me on the parallel bars...I was able to get up, stand and take a few steps.”
Her care team was impressed. Kim said, “we progressed in two short weeks to where I could walk, with supervision, on my own and without a walker.”
With strength and independence returning, Kim and her family look to life at home where she will be participating in home health rehab two to three times a week. “My sister will be assisting me further in my recovery—we already have a schedule for exercises and walking,” said Kim.
Overall, she said her experience at BSWIR – Lakeway has been “very positive. I won’t lie, it is very challenging, very intense, but the results are worth all the challenges!”