From the brink of a COVID death back to life

November 10, 2020

Life was going as it should for Jason Goode, 47. He enjoyed his job as a warehouse supervisor for a distribution center and had a devoted wife and a child in high school. Then COVID-19 hit.

It started with a fever, and his test came back positive for COVID. His fever continued ten days and he developed worsening shortness of breath. Nothing relieved his symptoms and when his respiratory problems approached severe, he went to Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure and viral pneumonia.

“The last thing I remember is signing the form giving permission for an experimental coronavirus treatment,” says Jason. He spent 17 days on a ventilator in the ICU under heavy sedation and received convalescent plasma twice.

Because no visitors were allowed at the hospital, his wife, Meggan, called in daily for an update on Jason’s condition.

“It was terrifying not to be with him,” says Meggan. On her 17th-day call, she was told that the medical staff had done all they could for him; Jason would have to be put on life support the next day if he didn’t show improvement.

But the next day, Jason rallied. He was alive, but exhausted, weak, and had also suffered a stroke. Meggan started asking around about inpatient rehab centers when he was moved from ICU and plans were made for his discharge.

“Everyone I asked said Siskin was the best!” says Meggan. “So I did some research and agreed that Siskin Hospital was the best place for Jason.”

When he arrived at Siskin Hospital, Jason was so weak he couldn’t push himself up out of a chair. Walking from the edge to the end of his bed winded him. He could barely swallow and needed maximum self-care assistance. He required two people to help him take just a few steps.

Jason was determined to regain independence in all his functions and mobility. Before he became sick, he CrossFit trained four days a week to address some underlying health conditions, and he was motivated to work hard so he could re-start his training program. His physical therapists used the Solo Step Harness to increase his confidence in performing higher-level activities without the fear of falling. They also integrated CrossFit-style exercises into his sessions. He made rapid progress and, nine days later, left the hospital walking without assistance, a week earlier than expected.

Jason continued his therapy at Siskin Hospital’s Outpatient Therapy Services in Cleveland, ending what Meggan termed “the longest six weeks of my life.” He’s eager to return to work and his CrossFit training, with the long-term goal of participating in a Spartan Race.

“I nearly died,” says Jason. “Siskin helped me so much.”