During these unprecedented times, your support is needed now more than ever. We are working to keep our patients and residents healthy and safe at Providence, but we need your help.
As a Speech Language Pathologist at Providence Healthcare, I have seen the impact of COVID-19, first-hand. Like so many of us, this has been a frightening, trying and isolating time for our patients and for us as caregivers.
Vaccinations for our most vulnerable are on the horizon, but with the second wave of COVID-19 upon us, this continues to be a challenging time for many, including those most susceptible in our care and my fellow colleagues, Providence’s frontline workers.
With the pandemic ever-present, I have taken to self-reflection to get through some of the difficult days. I often think back on the people I have cared for throughout my career – people with great strength and courage.
Paulina is one of those patients.
After surviving a rare type of stroke, Paulina found herself unable to eat or swallow. In hospital, she had been placed on a Gastronomy Tube (G-Tube), a feeding tube hooked up to her stomach, in order to get the nutrients she needed.
Paulina was referred to Providence Healthcare’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Program, which is where we first met. She told me how desperately she wanted to be able to eat a meal with her family again and get her life back to the way it was.
Unfortunately, the odds were stacked against her. She was going to have to strengthen and retrain her muscles to learn how to swallow again. This is a long and difficult recovery. It takes months and progress can be slow. People often lose patience.
The pressures and uncertainly due to COVID-19 continue. Our need is urgent and the time is now.
When Paulina learned how long her recovery would take, she was devastated, but then I met the real Paulina—a focused, strong person who rises above challenges and keeps going. She was determined to eat again. She deeply missed her husband’s cooking and the pleasure of sharing a meal with family.
Every day on her journey to recovery brought a new challenge, obstacle or temptation, but she found the strength to persevere.
She worked hard to strengthen her muscles and practice safe swallowing techniques. She slowly started to introduce food back into her diet, safely. Eight months after her stroke, Paulina’s swallowing improved to a point that she was able to go back to eating normally.
All of Paulina’s hard work and sacrifice had paid off. It makes me happy to know she is once again enjoying her husband’s delicious home cooking with her family.
As a leader in rehabilitation medicine, we need your help to deliver the best care experiences. Help us continue to ensure our patients have the best possible outcomes. Help us push boundaries through cutting-edge research and leading technology. Your donation today will make a difference for those in our care. Please give.
Strength is. Compassion.
Strength is. Hope.
Strength is. Providence.
With warmth and hope,