Meet Robert Lewis, Jr. | A Spaulding Story of Strength
COVID-19 survivor and Spaulding patient Robert Lewis, Jr. shares his journey: from diagnosis with the novel coronavirus through his rehabilitation at Spaulding Hospital Cambridge—and what it means to him to be back at work at the community outreach organization he founded in Boston.
My COVID-19 Recovery—As Told by Robert Lewis, Jr.
I’m not sure how I expected to feel when I turned 60 years old last spring, but I didn’t anticipate a trip to the emergency department. I certainly didn’t expect to be sedated, intubated, and wake up 12 days later. But on March 22—my 60th birthday— that’s what happened. It was the beginning of my COVID-19 journey.
It was an intense and frightening time. When I was moved to Spaulding Hospital Cambridge for rehabilitation after three weeks of acute care, I had to relearn…everything: how to breathe without an oxygen tank; how to walk; how to touch my nose and tie my sneakers. I had to get my strength back.
What struck me about Spaulding was the incredible treatment that I—and my family—received from everyone there, from the moment I arrived until I walked out just one week later. There’s a culture of love and compassion and excellence that radiates from every person.
Trust me when I say—as someone who coaches young people in sports and in life—Spaulding has some tough coaches!! Tough, but caring and skilled. They got me back on my feet. I went home on April 17, but my recovery didn’t stop there. I had an incredible nurse and physical therapist treating me through Partners HealthCare at Home.
Recovering from COVID-19, I received a second chance at life. I’m back at work now, using my second chance to fight against the inequities of the healthcare system and the outsized impact this pandemic has on communities of color.
I can do this because of Spaulding. It will be a special place to me for the rest of my life. We all depend on Spaulding to be there for us; and I know Spaulding depends on us too.
To all of Spaulding’s clinicians, staff, and donors, I say thank you for being part of my recovery—and thank you for helping so many other COVID-19 survivors on their own journeys of healing. Your investment in Spaulding is critical in the fight against this virus.
With profound gratitude,
Robert Lewis, Jr.
Founder and President of The BASE | Community Leader | COVID Survivor | Spaulding Patient
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