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Claude's Story

Claude Recovers from Severe COVID-19 at Home

Claude’s health took a debilitating and life-threatening turn when he contracted a severe case of COVID-19. But with a team of doctors and VNS Health clinicians at his side, Claude got on track toward regaining his health and independence.

Before COVID-19 hit, Claude* was a healthy young father who worked as a school bus driver and loved spending time at home with his family. But when the pandemic struck, the life Claude knew was quickly upended. Like many others across the globe, Claude lost his job when the schools closed down. And then he came down with a devastating case of COVID.

The disease landed him in the hospital for nearly 2 months, including 20 days during which he was on a ventilator and in kidney failure. His wife, Ruth, watched on as doctor after doctor told her, “Your husband is a very, very, very sick man.”

Refusing to Give Up

But Ruth never gave up, imploring her husband’s doctors to do everything they could. “I have two little kids who need their father,” she said. “I wasn’t ready to bury my husband.”

Claude’s health care providers weren’t ready to give up on him either. When he eventually recovered enough to leave the hospital, they lined up home care from VNS Health and were able to discharge him. Once home, Claude received frequent visits from his VNS Health care team.

Additionally, VNS Health supported Ruth as she addressed another stressor — paying for care. Because he had lost his job, Claude’s health insurance hung in the balance. VNS Health worked with the hospital to help Ruth transfer their insurance to Medicaid to ensure that high-quality care continued uninterrupted.

Rehabilitation Therapy at Home

Occupational therapy was key for Claude’s recovery. One lingering symptom of the illness was a debilitating blood clot in Claude’s left arm. VNS Health occupational therapist Malky worked with him two to three times a week to regain his strength and range of motion so he could resume daily activities, like dressing on his own.

It’s really rewarding to be there for him during this hard time to help him regain his independence. He’s come so far already.

— Malky, VNS Health physical therapist

VNS Health occupational therapists can assist with:

  • Adapting daily routines to meet someone’s abilities
  • Improving visual, cognitive, perceptual, and fine motor skills
  • Learning how to use special equipment
  • Recovering quickly with wheelchair seating and positioning programs, home modifications, and exercises
  • Educating patients and their caregivers on staying safe

Occupational therapy is just one type of rehabilitative therapy available from VNS Health. We also offer speech therapy to help with speaking and swallowing, and physical therapy to help with building strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.

Getting Back on His Feet

Thanks to his expert care team, Claude was able to return to his active life with his family. He and his wife are grateful for the support they received, especially from his home care providers.

“Whenever he makes any improvement, Malky is very good about encouraging him, reminding him how much better he’s getting every day,” Ruth says.

*Patient and family names have been changed to protect privacy.

Your donation can help people like Claude as they recover from life-threatening illnesses and overcome the lingering effects.

For more information about giving, contact our Development team at 1-212-609-1525 or [email protected].

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