New therapy program helps COVID patients recover from home

Mary Free Bed has been working to build their ReCOVery Program since April
Posted at 5:16 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 17:23:28-04

A new therapy program at Mary Free Bed is helping COVID patients continue their recovery even after they have gone home.

Mary Free Bed has been working on building up their ReCOVery program since April. They say it was developed by a team of physicians and therapists assisted by pulmonary physicians and researchers.

Patients can utilize the program while they are receiving inpatient treatment at Mary Free be and also once they head home.

“Whether they're inpatient, which are hospital-based or clinic-based, or even virtual-based programs, we can tailor to you,”Dr. Ralph Wang, a rehabilitation physician with Mary Free Bed, told FOX 17 Wednesday afternoon.

Patients are experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 throughout their body.

“It hits so fast. It's really mind boggling,” said David Thompson, a COVID patient who lives in the metro Detroit area.

”I could barely get out of bed and breathing was very labored and heavy.”

David and his wife Char both tested positive for the virus at the same time several months ago.

“It just kept getting worse each day. On Friday is when it kind of really started and then Saturday, it got worse. And by Sunday it was horrible," Char said Wednesday.

Char was admitted to Beaumont hospital where she spent about 16 days on a ventilator. After that she was sent to Mary Free Bed to recover.

“Every aspect.... speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological therapy, everybody was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal,” she said.

David also entered Mary Free Bed's ReCOVery Program, except he was able to do so from his home on the other side of the state.

“Psychologically it was like a huge struggle... I often wondered if I would ever be back to my old self,” David said.

He says he was surprised at how much progress he began to see through the virtual program.

Kirk Randall, a physical therapist at Mary Free Bed, says because the virus attacks almost every area of the body, their approach to recovery is multi-faceted.

“It's a challenge to figure out, how do I get my my breath back when I'm walking and talking with somebody? Or how do I climb a flight of stairs when I could do that two weeks ago,” he said.

Both David and Char say they are now well on their road to recovery, optimistic about their future.

Mary Free bed enlists a full team of specialists to give patients their lives back, including:

  • Board-certified rehabilitation physicians
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pain specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Nutritionists

You can find more information about the program at Mary Free Bed's website.