Sotharith B overcame serious COVID19 complications with hard work and intensive rehabilitation
June 19, 2022
A long stint in the ICU with COVID-19 is bad enough for a mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast.
But it’s not uncommon for long-term ICU patients to experience severe complications from the very treatments that save their lives.
“My lungs shut down. My body shut down. I was on a ventilator … and life support,” said B.
“For about a month, I was out,” he said.
While ventilated, “He developed limb and respiratory weakness which is common with critical illness while in the ICU,” explained James Salerno, MD, chief, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute.
“It’s common for COVID patients to require supplemental oxygen due to damage to their lung tissue,” he said.
B worked hard with his therapists to get off oxygen and restore his body to more normal functioning. At first, even the simplest tasks were impossible.
“They supported me, saw what I needed, and catered to it,” said B.
“It’s amazing seeing how far he’s come,” said Dr. Salerno.
As for the future, B laughed and said, “If I could come here as a gym membership, I would. They know what they’re doing.”