Nancy Ray

COVID-19 proved a significant battle for Nancy Ray. Nancy and her husband tested positive for the virus, and he had already been to the ER. Soon, Nancy followed when her son couldn’t wake her. With a pulse ox of just 38, Nancy required a ventilator to breathe. She spent over 70 days in the hospital and three weeks on the vent.

Fighting for her life, Nancy’s husband whispered in her ear. “You make the decision. Come back to us or go to heaven,” he said. Miraculously, her vitals soon improved, and Nancy turned the corner. Once she made enough improvement, Nancy transferred to Summa Rehab Hospital.

When she arrived at the inpatient rehabilitation hospital, Nancy could not walk. But her physical therapy team of Sarah, her physical therapist, and Morgan, a PT student, motivated and pushed Nancy.

“They were amazing and deserve gold stars!” Nancy said.

One of the challenges Nancy faced was an inability to move her torso. She had to learn to stand again using a sit-to-stand machine. Though Nancy didn’t think she could, her physical therapy superstars were there to support her with encouragement and confidence. “Sure you can, and you’re going to show us,” they said. And Nancy did just that!

When it came time to walk the parallel bars, Nancy surprised herself again. With Sarah and Morgan cheering her on — “All you have to do is pull yourself up, and we’ll follow you!” — Nancy took her first step. Soon she could complete two full trips through the bars.

Today, Nancy is back home. Though still a bit sluggish and short of breath, she is very thankful to be able to drive and climb the stairs at home. At her husband’s encouragement, she’s retired from cleaning houses to focus on her health.

“Summa Rehab Hospital and I worked as a team to get me home and on the path back to better,” Nancy said with a smile.