Berney came to Summa Rehab Hospital to regain his function after an extended hospitalization due to COVID-19

Berney Villers

It was mid-December, and Berney became ill with a cough, chills, and no energy. One week later, Berney took a severe downturn and was rushed to the emergency room. As careful as he had been, Berney was informed that he had COVID-19. He was placed on oxygen, which continually needed to be increased. The physician informed Berney that he would need to be placed on a ventilator.

Berney was given just a thirty percent chance of surviving.

For most of his time on a ventilator, Berney was in a fog. He was severely weakened and had required a tracheostomy due to the length of time he spent on the vent. But soon he made enough progress to transfer to Summa Rehab Hospital for physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

When Berney arrived at Summa Rehab Hospital, he was not able to stand on his own and could only speak one syllable at a time. Just one week later, the difference was remarkable. Berney had gained enough strength to stand and walk on his own, and his speech improved to where he could speak in sentences.

To make a safe return home, patients need to be able to safely perform essential daily tasks. These tasks are known as activities of daily living, or ADLs. Patients can practice these tasks alongside their therapists in the ADL apartment at Summa Rehab Hospital. The day before his discharge home, Berney made muffins in the ADL apartment with the help of his occupational therapist, Alicia.

Berney spoke very highly of the entire staff at Summa Rehab Hospital, especially his physical therapist, Kelly. “Kelly was positive and very impressed with my progress,” he shared. “Everybody has been great and very supportive, and I had a personal drive to go home.”

Berney’s dedication to his recovery was evident, even in the hours he spent outside of the therapy gym. His sons even brought him weights so that he could work out in his room above and beyond the 15 hours per week of therapy he was receiving!

Before COVID, Berney’s dream was to buy a 2022 Corvette. After coming close to losing his life, Berney’s focus is solely on making memories with his sons and grandchildren. Berney says, “My whole perspective on life has changed. Who would have thought that COVID would be a blessing?” Berney’s lungs will continue to heal at home, and he is very thankful to Summa Rehab Hospital for getting him back to better so quickly.