COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Richard Haas, 65, of Brown County, OH.
He spent 77 days on a ventilator while hospitalized at Mercy Health – Clermont Hospital and lost 60 pounds. It was determined that Richard needed rehabilitation before he could safely return home.
“It took me a while to get my head together, figure out where I was and what was going on, but I was ready to start doing something,” recalls Richard about the day he arrived at the Mercy Health – Anderson Hospital inpatient rehabilitation unit. “I knew they would help me. I just didn’t know how hard it would be.”
Richard is no stranger to having to rebuild his body after illness. He had a stroke several years back and through hard work, he says he got back to 98%.
“This took more out of me, but I will be back to 98%,” he vows.
Helping Richard get back on his feet are the members of his care team (pictured above) that helped out during his 23-day rehab stay.
“Roland Cheek [an occupational therapist] did my physical therapy and it was outstanding,” Richard says. “He was priceless and helped me get a long way. He built me back up and always had a positive mental attitude. When I came in, I couldn’t even push a button on the remote. Roland got me to regain strength and mobility in my hand. Physical therapist Hannah Cuttell did a good job, too, and helped me push beyond what I thought I could do.”
When Richard first arrived on the rehab unit, he could stand up with a walker with effort but not walk. By the time he left, he was able to stroll up and down the hall without a walker.
After so many days on a ventilator, Richard also needed help regaining his voice.
“The speech therapists Natalie Broderick, Jennifer Berger, Jennifer Ruhe and Lyndsey Crema always kept a positive attitude, even when I was depressed and having a difficult time with testing because of all the phlegm in my lungs,” shares Richard. “All the people that I worked with, including the nurses, were awesome. Together, they got me back mentally and physically. They are top notch. As soon as I get off the feeding tube, I’m going back to have a donut and coffee with them.”
Now back at home, Richard has daily reminders of the progress he has made.
“This morning, I showered and dressed myself, brushed my teeth, walked into the living room and helped with chores. I haven’t yet used my walker today. All of this is because of my care team in the Anderson rehab unit. They knew that once you get me going and put up challenges, I’d keep pushing and pushing.”
Learn about the rehabilitation and physical therapy services we offer at Mercy Health.