Posted: August 27 2020
A patient who was on the Covid-19 rehabilitation pathway is “very grateful” to staff at QVM for helping him regain his independence.
Ray Frederick, 69, from Hertford, was transferred to Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital (QVM) in Welwyn. He was then treated for rehabilitation on a dedicated pathway for patients recovering from Covid-19. This followed lengthy stays in acute hospitals, including Royal Papworth Hospital’s Intensive Care unit while in a coma. Some early physiotherapy was attempted with Ray during his stay at Princess Alexandra Hospital, however Ray was still very weak and uncomfortable and so unfortunately not much progress was made.
Ray said that he’d never heard of QVM before his transfer on 13 June, but thought it would be a good idea and, according to him, it was! Ray was very weak upon his arrival, essentially bedbound and had to be hoisted out of bed by three people. Staff at QVM worked with Ray to start his rehabilitation as soon as possible, with therapy sessions three to five times a week. They started with general mobility and core strength exercises while he was still in bed, as well as using specialised equipment to get out of bed, with the help of staff. His progress was almost immediate. In just one week Ray went from standing for ten seconds to thirty seconds.
Once his strength and mobility increased, Ray was able to do more strenuous exercises. This included using the parallel bars in QVM’s gym, eventually being able to balance without them for a short time. Walking circuits around the building was also one of his more memorable exercises, which he says boosted his confidence as part of his recovery. His progress continued to improve, and after two weeks of successful functional assessments he was discharged from the hospital on 11 August, having gone from bedbound to independent with the aid of a walking frame.
Ray Frederick at QVM
Ray had nothing but praise for the team who looked after him at QVM, and says that without them he’d likely still be extremely disabled. He called them “patient and encouraging” from the day he arrived, recalling an instance where a staff member helped him to eat when his hand tremors meant he could “barely pick up a sandwich with two hands”. Ray said: ”The staff had a wonderful attitude and were very interesting people who you could have a conversation with”. This went from the doctors who alleviated any concerns he had on the same day he raised them, to the cleaners and caterers who always made time to chat with him. Throughout his recovery from Covid-19 he had been very worried about his family and missed his children and grandchildren a great deal. He was therefore very grateful that he was allowed to see family visitors in QVM’s garden.
Ray is now glad to be at home with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. He’s still getting used to moving with a walking frame, but he said that the visits from community physiotherapists have been a tremendous help. His next goal is to walk up and down the stairs at home. The community physiotherapists are providing him with a step to practice and build further strength to achieve this.
For more information on our Covid-19 rehabilitation service, visit the service page.
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