Georgina's story

Woman standing outside her hospital room with the aid of a rolling walker wearing a mask.

Georgina Calortiz, a medical technologist, was enjoying a few days off from work when she began to feel ill. “I came down with a fever, had difficulties breathing, was very weak and had no appetite,” recalled the 60-year-old Brooklyn, NY, resident. Her condition quickly worsened and Georgina was taken to the emergency department at nearby Maimonides Medical Center where doctors confirmed she had contracted COVID-19.

“I was admitted to the hospital, intubated and later learned I was asleep for three days,” Georgina said. “When I woke up, I was unable to walk, talk or move any part of my body.” She spent almost six weeks fighting to overcome the virus before she was cleared to begin the comprehensive post-COVID rehabilitation program at Kessler Institute – Saddle Brook, NJ.

Focusing on Georgina’s goal “to walk and return to work,” the physician-led Kessler team tailored a treatment plan to meet her individual needs, carefully integrating medical, nursing, therapy and specialized services.

In physical therapy, she worked tirelessly to rebuild her strength, balance and mobility, literally progressing one step at a time. Similarly, with the help of her occupational therapists, Georgina restored her ability to perform daily activities with confidence and independence. She also regained her voice through a range of targeted exercises provided by the team’s speech language pathologists. Overseeing her progress was her Kessler physiatrist, a doctor board certified in rehabilitation medicine, along with specially trained nurses who monitored her medication and other needs.

The first time she climbed a few stairs in one of her therapy sessions proved to be a key turning point for Georgina. “I suddenly realized just how far I had come and how remarkable a recovery I had made.”

After four weeks of intensive rehabilitation, Georgina was prepared to return home, promising to continue to “focus on my recovery and going back to work.” She also noted that her experience was “the best, thanks to the care, treatment and encouragement I received from my Kessler team. I really appreciate everyone who was part of this journey and will never forget them.”