Skip to Content
Also part of the UPMC family:

Cindy: COVID-19 Survivor

After a long battle with COVID-19, including a three-week hospital stay and five days on a ventilator, Cindy turned to UPMC Western Maryland’s Comprehensive Inpatient Rehab Unit (CIRU) to help prepare her to return home. Having never been apart from her husband for more than four days in over 47 years, she was determined to get back to him, as well as to her children, church family, and friends. Just wanting to be home with them continually pushed her to get better.

Considering the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute

Though she had defeated COVID-19, an important part of Cindy’s journey to independence had to take place before she could safely return home. Several caregivers suggested Cindy enter the CIRU at UPMC Western Maryland. The facility consists of 13 private patient rooms, a bright dining room with views of the Allegheny Mountains, a spacious therapy gym, and a transitional apartment for practicing the tasks and skills needed to succeed in life after rehab. Patients receive approximately three hours of daily therapy, six days out of the week.

While Cindy’s care would come from several ancillary departments at UPMC Western Maryland, she spent the most time on 7 South in the COVID-19 unit, followed by five days in the interdisciplinary rehab program as she reconditioned herself to perform the tasks she would need to go home.

“From beginning to end, the care I received every step of the way was amazing,” Cindy says. “Everyone was super nice. They made me feel like I was the only person in this hospital. That helped so much.”

They made me feel like I was the only person in this hospital. That helped me so much.

Recovering in the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit

The CIRU program is dedicated to providing comprehensive rehabilitative services for patients with physical, functional thinking, and swallowing and/or communication impairments. By following a team approach, we provide sound rehabilitative therapy to effect positive change in functional ability, independence, and self-reliance across a variety of environments, while protecting and promoting the rights of the patients served. It’s just what Cindy would need to transition from her long hospital stay back to her home for good.

Setting Goals for Independence, Then Exceeding Them

During her stay, Cindy made a list of goals and then worked to complete them. Time spent in the CIRU also allowed Cindy to regain the confidence she had lost during her COVID-19 battle.

“I am so thankful I did this,” she says. “Going home right away would have been more challenging, and I’d be a lot slower than I am now. I would recommend this program to anyone. It’s a good step to take.” 

As for the perspective she gained during her illness and rehab, Cindy feels she is one of the lucky ones.

“My life has changed forever,” she says. “I’ve always had a positive attitude, but I will never take anything for granted again.”

This patient's treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.


Read more Rehab Institute Patient Stories.