Oscar Galvez-Cordova celebrates his discharge from Utah Valley Specialty Hospital.

Oscar Galvez-Cordova, 61, found himself in the fight of his life. Having tested positive for COVID-19, Oscar faced a long road to recovery. He was immediately admitted to a local hospital, intubated, and placed on a ventilator. Over time, his kidney function decreased, requiring hemodialysis. But careful treatment put Oscar on the right track.

A month after he arrived, Oscar tested negative for COVID-19 on two separate tests. Though the virus was gone, Oscar now had to contend with its lingering effects. One month in a hospital bed left him with profound weakness. He still needed the ventilator and his kidneys had to heal. Oscar transferred to Utah Valley Specialty Hospital to further his recovery.

Oscar entered the respiratory failure program at UVSH. Upon arrival, he was placed in droplet isolation as part of COVID-19 protocol. The interdisciplinary care team put together an individualized plan of care for Oscar. While working to wean him from the ventilator, the team also addressed his kidney function and encephalopathy. Physical therapy began working on early mobility and speech therapy addressed swallowing deficiencies.

By the end of his second week at UVSH, Oscar’s progress was notable. His kidney function improved, no longer requiring dialysis. He made gains with weaning from the ventilator, decreasing encephalopathy, and bed-to-chair transfers. Soon, Oscar passed a swallow study. This allowed the dietary team to advanced his diet gradually back to a regular one. After 23 days, Oscar was decannulated and removed from droplet precaution. Oscar regained his independence with ambulation and self-care activities.

One month after arriving at UVSH, Oscar discharged home with home health.

“I want to thank the personnel of Utah Valley Specialty Hospital for your great treatment,” Oscar said. “All of the workers were very friendly, happy, and willing to see to my needs.”

This reflects the existence of a culture of service and searching for excellence,” Oscar continued. “Something that gave me a lot of confidence and assurance were the daily visits with Dr. Talaat Al-Shuqairat. I was fortunate to have been attended to by marvelous healthcare personnel, like Denise, Licet, Callan, and others that, sadly, I can’t remember their names. I also remember with affection and gratitude, Jacob, who was preparing to go to medical school.”

Oscar noted how even after returning home the team has helped him. “The therapy and instructions that Hayley from physical therapy gave me, and Sam from respiratory therapy, have been crucial.”