NewsLocal NewsKent


Mary Free Bed opens special unit to help COVID-19 patients recover

Posted at 8:38 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 22:36:36-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mary Free Bed has opened a special unit to help patients with COVID-19 recover before they return home.

“One of the things we look for when we’re admitting patients from these other systems, is that they’re starting to get better,” Mary Free Bed CEO Kent Riddle said.

Chief Medical Officer for Mary Free Bed Dr. Michael Jakubowski said patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and may be in too rough of shape to go home on their own come to Mary Free Bed for additional help to get their life back to normal.

“Because of some of the unique problems we’re seeing with COVID-19 patients, these patients need to be able to try to get up again, and walk 100 feet…before they get exhausted,” Dr. Michael Jakubowski said.

Patients who are showing signs of improvement but aren't ready to go back home can be accepted into the unit. Mary Free Bed is taking patients from all over the state, and currently has eight people being treated. They have 18 private rooms set up to help people recover.

The COVID-19 treatment area is completely isolated from the rest of the hospital. So much so, you can't even access it from inside the hospital.

It's one of the many ways Mary Free Bed is ensuring the safety of all staff and patients who are there for various other treatments.

There's a specific need for this type of recovery, because Dr. Jakubowski says some patients who may have the most severe cases of COVID-19 have extended hospital stays, making the transition back home difficult.

“Some patients who have COVID and go to the hospital, are so reconditioned, so weakened…so unable to function..they aren’t able to go home safely.” Dr. Jakubowski said.

That's why Mary Free Bed says they're there to help.

“As one hospital system who works in conjunction with all other hospital systems, we’re really just bringing our expertise to this to help in conjunction with them….to help these patients,” Kent Riddle said.