Florence Schnuck, a massage therapist in Ballard County, recently found herself recovering from COVID-19 at a place she used to work.
Florence was a nurse at Life Care Center of La Center, Kentucky, several years ago. This winter, she acquired COVID-19 and spent more than three weeks in the hospital – two of those on a ventilator. When she was released from the hospital, she was very weak and came to her former employer for rehabilitation.
When Florence arrived on Jan. 11, 2021, she needed total assistance for all her basic self-care tasks, such as getting dressed and grooming. She couldn’t walk or get out of bed on her own, and her intubation had affected her ability to swallow, so she was on a modified-texture diet.
Physical, occupational and speech therapists all contributed to the effort to get Florence better and home again. While occupational therapy retrained her in her functional self-care tasks, speech therapy helped her learn how to swallow again, and physical therapy helped her regain the strength she needed for standing, walking and other movement. She also worked on balance training and breathing.
“Mrs. Flo worked so incredibly hard with her therapy every day,” said Elizabeth Dowdy, physical therapist assistant.
“My therapy was exceptional,” said Florence. “I wouldn’t be able to go back home without the therapists. They taught me how to breathe again, get dressed again and walk again. I can eat normal food again, and I feel so much stronger! The staff at Life Care treated me like family. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be for rehab.”
Florence is now independent in her basic activities of daily living, as well as her mobility. She went home on March 3.