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Mom thanks team who cared for her son hospitalized with COVID

IU Health White Memorial Hospital

Mom thanks team who cared for her son hospitalized with COVID

He has both physical and mental challenges. When he was hospitalized with COVID, this patient’s mother knew he needed extra care. She says he got it.

By IU Health Senior Journalist, T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

He was born in a Lafayette Hospital 13 weeks early. He was on a ventilator and received numerous rehabilitation therapies. At age 25, Bradley Cobb, again relied on specialized care. He was diagnosed with COVID on November 1.

“With hospital restrictions, he was on his own,” said Cobb’s mother, Ann Powell, who was also diagnosed with COVID. The third of four children, Cobb was diagnosed at a young age with cerebral palsy – impacting his right side, and water on the brain. He is prone to seizures and was under the care of a neurologist at the age of four.

“We were told early on that he wouldn’t walk, talk or eat but here he is, walking, talking, and eating,” said Powell. Her son went on to graduate from Tri County High School in his hometown of Wolcott, Ind.

“He has overcome so many obstacles.” Under typical circumstances, Cobb is the life of the party, said his mother. “He likes to be heard, he’s funny, he loves to dance, he likes to play basketball and corn hole, he likes girls, and he loves any kind of music.”

But when he became ill, Powell was anxious. He didn’t understand all the hospital procedures and was confused about his diagnosis. He called his mom via Face Time and had broken out in a sweat. He didn’t understand how to use the nurse call button.

He remained inpatient for six days at IU Health White Memorial Hospital. During his stay he was administered oxygen and breathing treatments. He was also diagnosed with diabetes. Eventually, a family member was allowed to come in to assist with his special care.

“It was a worry for me; it was a worry for him,” said Powell. “I can’t tell you how kind the staff was. They explained things to us and made sure that they were also addressing Bradley. We knew they were busy but we never felt like we were bothering them. From the ED to the respiratory staff, to the inpatient unit, his care was superb.”

When Cobb was released he remained on oxygen in the care of a specialized IU Health program called, “Hospital at Home.” The program was introduced last year when hospitals experienced an increase in COVID patients. The model provides hospital-level care in the comfort of home. Patients connect daily with care teams of doctors and nurses by phone and virtual visits. Before discharge, patients who have a caregiver in the home receive a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, and thermometer and measure their vitals three times daily up to 14 days. A nurse provides additional support including education and monitoring.

“Since he was still on oxygen, I don’t think he could have gone home without this program,” said Cobb’s mom. In the past months, Cobb has gradually returned to good health. He remains on insulin but his mom said they are hopeful he will begin to use oral medication soon.

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