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Talia Kalisiak, a 20-year-old North Tonawanda woman hospitalized with COVID-19 since Nov. 11, finally made her way home on Feb. 3, thanks to the medical rehabilitation team at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
The hospital noted, “While the elderly are particularly vulnerable to serious complications from the illness, younger adults like Kalisiak are far from immune.”
Kalisiak urged young people to take the coronavirus seriously.
“Wear your mask; wash your hands; social distance. COVID is very real,” she said.
Kalisiak started showing symptoms on Nov. 2, a few days after visiting with friends. It turned out that they, along with her family, ended up with the virus also. On Nov. 11, her father drove her to the hospital and, shortly after, she was put in a medically induced coma. Kalisiak was on a ventilator for 27 days.
She cried as she spoke about how her family prayed for her recovery. On Jan. 6, they were rejoiced to see their daughter transferred to Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
The medical rehabilitation team there has helped Kalisiak build her strength, learn how to walk independently again, and gain endurance.
"When COVID patients come over to our unit, we provide them with three hours a day of intense rehab, which is physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology," said Kevin Gibson, Catholic Health's rehabilitation director.
Nurses and staff members at Kenmore Mercy Hospital gathered Wednesday to celebrate Kalisiak’s remarkable recovery and send her onto the next step in her journey. While heading home, she will continue rehabilitation with home care staff.
Kalisiak’s family plans to celebrate her return – along with all the holidays they missed together.