Case Study: Riverside Premier Rehabilitation & Healing Center (April 2020)

Patients Age: 69

Admitted From: Mt. Sinai St. Lukes

Discharged To: Home

Length of Stay: 75 days

Reason for Stay: Short Term Rehabilitation

How did this patient hear about the Riverside? Case Manager at Mt. Sinai

Following bilateral weakness and swelling, and a fall in October 2019, Ms. Vines was admitted to Mt. Sinai St. Lukes on January 8, 2020, where she stayed for four months using a wheelchair to allow her body to heal. She had also been diagnosed with irregularities in the lumbar and thoracic vertebral bodies, as well as degenerative changes, which staff determined would not affect her ability to ambulate. The St. Luke’s team was confident Ms. Vines would be able to walk again, however, she would need continued therapy. A hospital social worker suggested The Riverside Rehabilitation and Healing Center as a wonderful skilled nursing facility where she could continue her treatment.

From the moment Ms. Vines was admitted to The Riverside, she was greeted warmly by directors and staff. Despite not feeling like herself, she said she felt quite comfortable with the staff. She shared “I knew there was something else wrong with me, I just didn’t know what it could be. At the hospital, they were so confident I was well enough to leave, and I thought maybe I have the flu, or perhaps COVID-19.” Out of an abundance of caution, Ms. Vines was tested for COVID-19, and thankfully, the results were negative.

Admittance into The Riverside was just the beginning of Ms. Vines’ journey to recovery. She began making progress in therapy but still felt weak, experienced difficulty breathing, a low-grade fever, as well as gastrointestinal issues. As a precaution, the medical staff performed a physical exam and began prescribing Tamiflu. Ms. Vines continued to see her doctors, and she recovered successfully from the flu so she was able to return to regularly programmed physical and occupational therapy. For the first time in five months, she was beginning to regain the ability to stand and take steps.

Ms. Vines was projected to be discharged in the middle of February, however, she continued traveling back and forth between the hospital for regular appointments. During those visits, she was tested multiple times for COVID-19. Unfortunately, her fifth test returned positive. Her discharge date was postponed, and IV antibiotics were given at The Riverside. Fear, tears, and panic began to overwhelm Ms. Vines as symptoms took hold in the form of a 102 F fever, as well as a bad cough. “I felt like I was being strangled from the inside.” Ms. Vines explained, “I was very scared because I have asthma.” Knowing the difficult circumstances Ms. Vines was facing, The Riverside’s Interdisciplinary Clinical team, including the Medical Director, was involved in her daily care. Dr. Glenn and the entire team completed daily rounds on her and Recreation, Environmental Services and Concierge Services provided additional emotional support to Ms. Vines in her time of need. “I needed God more than ever to help me fight this, and he sent me Riverside’s Angels.” Ms. Vines explained following her recovery. “They did not leave my side. They helped me, they cared for me, they cried with me, but most importantly, they did not let me give up hope.” Over the next few weeks, her health slowly began to improve.

Finally, Ms. Vines was able to discharge home on April 21st. The staff joined her in singing joyously for her recovery and praising her determination to overcome this terrible virus. As she exited The Riverside, fully recovered, she began to cry, telling the Medical Director, “God bless you, my doctor, for standing by me. Please tell every staff member they are part of my family.” The Riverside team wishes Ms. Vines and her family all the best in the future, and thank her for her inspiring, beautiful journey to recovery!