Mahmoud Osman had traveled from Egypt to Texas to visit and attend his son’s college commencement. The plan was for Mahmoud to spend three months in the states. What wasn’t part of the itinerary was contracting COVID-19.
About one week into his trip, Mahmoud started having flu-like symptoms. He didn’t immediately think it was COVID-19, but as the cough intensified his son took him to the hospital.
Mahmoud was given an oxygen saturation test which was below 90 percent. Typical oxygen saturation is 95 percent or higher.His COVID-19 test came back positive. He was transferred to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Georgetown where he was treated with high-flow oxygen, Remdesivir, plasma and steroids.
For 30 days, Mahmoud battled the virus in the ICU. When finally stabilized, he was still on supplemental oxygen and unable to walk. His body had become extremely weak from the infection and the time in the hospital. Mahmoud was unable to do everyday tasks to care for himself.Equally devastating, he was his wife’s primary caregiver.
Mahmoud knew he had to get better not only for himself, but so he could care for his wife when returning home to Egypt.He chose Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Lakeway (BSWIR-Lakeway) to continue his recovery journey.
Working with occupational and physical therapists, Mahmoud set big goals and was motivated to reach them.He was able to rebuild his endurance and improve strength – two key factors in getting back to walking and independently performing everyday tasks. His therapists worked on specific methods to improve Mahmoud’s endurance and provide alternative approaches to tasks that would conserve his energy and oxygen and in time, they saw progress.
A turning point in Mahmoud’s recovery came when he took his first steps without a walker and when he no longer needed supplemental oxygen during periods of non-activity. He credits this to the breathing exercises performed with his respiratory therapist who gave him encouragement when he needed it most.
“I received excellent care.My physical and occupational therapists helped me to breath on my own and walk. I am also grateful for the respiratory therapist who gave me hope every day that I would be able to breathe on my own again. The doctors and nurses were also fantastic and helped me with all my needs,” recalls Mahmoud.
Upon discharge, Mahmoud decided to extend his stay in the United States to complete Baylor Scott & White outpatient rehabilitation’s Recovery & Reconditioning program which was designed to help those dealing with long-term effects of COVID-19.
Mahmoud looks forward to returning to Egypt and caring for his wife again.