“It came out of nowhere,” she recalled. “When I came to Deborah I had respiratory failure and stayed for a month.”
Debbie had to get a tracheostomy (trach or breathing tube).
“Managing a trach is work. You are constantly changing things and have to see the doctor a lot.”
Then this past November she had heart problems.
“I had an ablation and an implanted heart monitor.”
Between both hospitalizations, Debbie would regularly go to pulmonary rehabilitation therapy. “It helped me so much.”
Recovering from the heart surgery, however, set Debbie back on her therapy schedule, and then coronavirus came and her medical care went completely on hold.
“I would usually come in every three months to have my trach adjusted. But I ended up with a six-month delay.”
The 69-year old Browns Mills resident — who is a doting grandmother and great-grandmother — loves to paint and do crafts. She was thrilled when, after COVID-19 interrupted her routine medical care, she could finally come back to Deborah to see her pulmonologist Dr. Andrew Martin.
Debbie added that she was not worried for one minute about the virus when she came back to Deborah.
“I have been an inpatient four times, and outpatient many, many times so I know what Deborah is like. When I came back I was very impressed. It was very well run from the first moment when I had my temperature taken. No one was sitting together. I didn’t even have to touch a pen. It was really different, but it was nice, and I was not in the least bit nervous. I felt very comfortable.”
But even more important to Debbie than feeling safe at the hospital and getting the permanent trach was re-starting pulmonary rehab.
“I really wanted to get back to rehab. My therapist Cindy (Cindy English, CRT) is always able to get me to do more and help me to succeed. I am so happy be back! I am confident this will help me get stronger.”
Dr. Martin agreed, “I am so happy that Debbie was comfortable coming back to the hospital. She was way overdue for an appointment, and it is so important that she keep up with her care. I am confident that with Debbie’s attitude, she is going to gain a lot of strength and stamina through pulmonary rehab.”
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