WVU Reynolds first in the region with treatment for post-COVID patients

Marshall County

Once you fight the virus, for many in doesn't mean you're back to normal overnight. So, the rehabilitation director says they're making sure the ghost of Covid-19 doesn't linger.

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our state… WVU Reynolds Memorial Hospital is the first in the region to offer help for those who already *beat* the virus, but have side effects. 

Weakness, fatigue, difficulty breathing, difficulty with walking, difficulty with activities of daily living.

Chris Mercer, Director of Rehabilitation at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

These aren’t just the symptoms of the virus, even if you fought off covid-19, there’s residual damage. As a product from Johns Hopkins University this new treatment with Reynold’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Department, aims to help patients to not be scarred for life.  

The goal of the program is to treat the whole person and return the person to their previous quality of life.

Chris Mercer, Director of Rehabilitation at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

Five physical therapists, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist signed on to the program, they start with what COVID-19 hurts the most – the lungs.  

A lot of these exercises start with laying on your back and doing simple breathing exercise. We progress that to where you’re doing exercises such as sitting. Then going to walking exercises; really working on improving your aerobic capacity later on.  

Chris Mercer, Director of Rehabilitation at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

Rehabilitation comes in many forms… from learning how to walk… to *now* learning how to breathe again. While it’s said to take older folks longer to recover from this virus, this new therapy makes *fully* healing more of a reality.  

The more educated people are on COVID-19, and that you can teach them they can recover from this, the better off everybody will be in the long run.

Chris Mercer, Director of Rehabilitation at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

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