Carl Sullivan’s prognosis wasn’t good after contracting COVID-19.

Carl Sullivan is a 68-year-old gentleman from Las Cruces, NM who along with his wife of 37 years, Shelly, was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Before he contracted the virus, Carl was a very active retiree who loved spending time with his large family of four daughters and nine grandchildren. He enjoyed fishing, hiking, and riding in his Jeep with his beloved dog, Zoee.

Carl and Shelly both experienced mild symptoms to start, but over a week’s time, Carl’s shortness of breath worsened, his fever spiked, and he began to shake. He and his wife knew it was time to call an ambulance. Carl was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for COVID, sepsis, and acute respiratory failure. He said that his prognosis was not looking good and that the team at the hospital were very worried for him. 

After a week of treatment for COVID and being on very high oxygen, he became stable enough to be transferred to Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico (ACHSNM) for increased therapy and to help him wean from the high levels of oxygen he was requiring. Carl shared that he and his family chose ACHSNM because of other family members that had been with the hospital before, and the very positive experiences they had, which earned his family’s trust.

Carl reunited with his beloved Zoee after discharging home from ACHSNM

Upon arrival, Carl says that the team at ACSHNM gave him a renewed sense of positivity about recovery. He says that the entire staff cared and encouraged him. He says that his doctor always had a smile and took time to explain everything, answer questions and help him to understand each step of his care, while at ACHSNM.

After twenty days at ACHSNM, Carl was able to make enough progress to go home with home health services. He says that he is so excited to get a second chance at life, get back to the simple things like being able to care for and bathe himself, and to get back to spending quality time with his family, and of course, his dog Zoee.

Ramon Segobia came to ACHSNM for ventilator weaning after contracting COVID-19
Ramon spent a month on a ventilator due to COVID-19. To wean from the ventilator and begin his recovery, he came to ACHSNM.

Ramon Segobia is a 68-year-old gentleman from Las Cruces, NM. He has lived an active and independent lifestyle with Irma, his wife of 50 years. Ramon loves to garden and spend time outdoors, hiking and fishing with his grandchildren. He also enjoys officiating high school sports such as football, basketball, and baseball.

Believing he was having a severe allergy attack one October day, Ramon went to the hospital. Tests revealed that the symptoms he experienced weren’t due to allergies, but COVID-19. Irma also tested positive for COVID-19. They were sent home with medications to rest and recover. Ramon’s symptoms worsened and he had to return to the hospital where he was placed on a ventilator. After almost a month in the hospital, Ramon received a tracheostomy and PEG tube for nutrition, remaining on the ventilator. Irma, meanwhile, was able to remain home and recovered well there.

In mid-November, Ramon was admitted to Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico (ACHSNM) to wean off of the ventilator and recover from the effects of COVID. When he arrived at ACHSNM, Ramon was completely dependent and had only awakened for the first time in almost a month. Ramon recalls being unable to move his left arm and leg when he first woke. He thought to himself that he had to do something to get better, so his family wouldn’t have to bear the burden of taking care of him forever.

With what he described as some “tough love” and the support of the ACHSNM staff, Ramon successfully weaned off the ventilator in just two weeks. He was decannulated two weeks after that. Soon after he passed his swallow study and gradually increased his ability to participate in therapy. He expressed his thankfulness for his occupational therapist, Nate, his nurses, Angelica, Alex, and Margarita, and his respiratory therapist, Rachel, who all pushed him to participate in his care and get stronger. After 37 days at ACHSNM, Ramon had progressed enough that he was ready to move to the next level of care where he could get even healthier, gain endurance, and prepare to go home.

Ramon was then admitted to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico (RHSNM) in late December. At RHSNM, he quickly progressed with therapy and was able to tolerate a regular diet again. He says that his physical therapist, Brian, and his occupational therapist, Art, supported and pushed him to get moving quickly and motivated him to get better and get home. Ramon was successfully discharged home after only 15 days at RHSNM. He returned home to his wife, who thankfully had fully recovered herself, and began outpatient therapy at RHSNM in late January.

To this day, Ramon continues to improve with his mobility and endurance and says that he looks forward to getting healthier, losing more weight, and getting back to fishing with his grandchildren again very soon!

While at the Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico, Victor Duran learned how to manage his COPD.

Victor Duran was enjoying his retirement, spending his days on the go and much of his time working in his yard. One day, he began to experience shortness of breath and found himself at the hospital and quickly admitted to the ICU. Doctors found that Mr. Duran had suffered a heart attack and fallen victim to COPD. Mr. Duran needed to be placed into a coma and be intubated. After spending quite some time in the ICU, he got a little stronger. His doctors and family members decided that the Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico was the right choice for his next level of care.

During his time at ACHSNM, Mr. Duran continued to regain strength. He also began to get his COPD under control. He made great progress over his stay. When the time came, he and his family chose to continue his recovery at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico.

During his two week stay at RHSNM, Mr. Duran continued his progress with specific goals in mind. He was motivated by his desire to make his daughter Cassandra Marie proud and to return home with Topaz, his beloved cat. Mr. Duran and his family worked very hard with his doctor, therapy, and nursing to achieve these goals.

Rosa, Mr. Duran’s respiratory therapist, noted how special it is to care for patients like him. “To serve our community and help patients like Mr. Duran be able to breathe easier, be educated about their COPD disease, and manage the disease so that they can enjoy life, is not only our passion, but our honor.”

The day he discharged home, Mr. Duran reflected on his stay. “It has been wonderful and all the staff have been great,” he stated. “The way the people treat you, you wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. I would definitely recommend this place!” He said that he plans to, “continue therapy, go to all his follow up appointments and get better!”

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Ramona Pacheco, 86, is the kind of grandmother we all know

Ramona Pacheco is the kind of grandmother we all know. Widowed from her husband of 53 years, Ramona has four daughters and as many grandchildren. Originally from Rincon, NM, she has lived in Las Cruces since 2011. The 86-year-old homemaker loves visiting with her family and neighbors and going to the store.

That was until one day when Ramona began having issues with her breathing. “I was at home and I couldn’t breathe right,” she recalled. “I started feeling very warm and weak. Just overall yucky.”

Over the past year, Ramona had spent the past year in-and-out of hospitals with infections. Gradually, she became weaker. Ramona returned home from a skilled nursing facility on a Friday. On Saturday, the breathing incident occurred and Ramona’s daughter took her to a local emergency room. Ramona was admitted to the hospital where things progressively got worse.

On Sunday, Ramona was transferred to Intermediate Care. On Monday, she was moved to ICU, intubated, and put on a ventilator. After 16 days, a tracheostomy and PEG tube were placed surgically. Ramona had developed severe pneumonia. Her physician, Dr. Shet, recommended a transfer to Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico.

Ramona transferred to ACHSNM where the ventilator weaning process began. Though Ramona doesn’t remember much of her stay, her daughters were by her side and involved all the way through. The teamwork between the doctors, staff, and Ramona’s daughters produced results.

While at ACHSNM, respiratory therapists helped Ramona with treatments to wean from the ventilator. Speech therapists worked with her on talking and eating. Occupational therapy taught Ramona how to perform the daily tasks she used to perform with ease. Physical therapy helped her regain some mobility.

Ramona spent a little over a month at ACHSNM. Liberated from the ventilator and feeding tube, she transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico. There, she participated in additional therapy as an inpatient. Ramona has since discharged home with her family, participating in outpatient therapy at RHSNM to further her recovery.

Ramona and her family wished to thank the staff who helped her regain her independence: Annette and the respiratory therapists, Taylor, Nathan and Bradyn, Bernie, Sandra, Desiree, and all the nursing staff. “Not once did the staff ever complain when Mom wanted to get up to the chair and then back to bed,” said her daughter, Teresa. “Everyone would come in happy to help and were compassionate.

But the moment that Ramona and her family will always remember is her discharge day. “When Mom was discharged, the staff lined up in the hallway and cheered and clapped for her,” Teresa said with a smile. “This brought tears to our eyes, it was so beautiful!”

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