PARKER, Colo. — From a hospital bed, Martina Diaz’s eyes welled up with tears as she longed to go home after a grueling battle with COVID-19. Diaz is getting closer to her hospital discharge, but her family worries bringing her home will pose a great danger due to her limited mobility.
Diaz, 47, was admitted to Centura Littleton Adventist Hospital nearly two months ago after testing positive for COVID-19. She spent 13 days on a ventilator and even longer in the ICU fighting for her life. Her battle with the virus took a toll on her body. Diaz now requires assistance to complete everyday tasks.
“She was 100% deconditioned,” said Laura Curry, an occupational therapist at Centura Littleton Adventist Hospital. “Martina cannot bathe herself independently, put on her shoes, or stand at the sink for an extended period of time to brush her teeth or wash her face.”
It took nearly a month of physical and occupational therapy for Diaz to take her first steps and it will require more therapy to gain enough strength to climb stairs.
“It’s mind-blowing because she is so independent,” said Aide Castillo, Diaz' daughter.
Castillo said her mom is almost ready to be discharged from the hospital, but her current living situation poses a danger given her limited mobility. Diaz lives in Ranchstone Apartments in Parker with her husband and children. Her apartment is on the third floor and doesn’t have an elevator, which means she would have to climb four flights of stairs to reach her door.
“There is no way she’s going to be able to just go up even one flight of stairs,” Castillo said.
"The most she has walked is 20-25 feet," Curry said. “It is still a very long process and it’s going to take her a lot of time to get back to what we consider 100%.”
Castillo reached out to her landlord to request a first-floor apartment to help accommodate her mother’s needs.
“He said, ‘Unfortunately, I can’t do that just because you guys are so far behind on rent,’” Castillo said.
Castillo, her father and her brother pitched in to pay for rent. She said when they all contracted COVID-19 they were out of work for at least two weeks and fell behind on payments.
An apartment is available on the ground floor, but Castillo said the landlord is asking the family to come up with $4,600 before he can grant them a move. It’s an expense the family said they can’t afford as they worry about medical bills and additional expenses to meet Diaz’ needs.
Curry hopes the community can rally around the family and help them raise money to help cover the cost of additional home occupational therapy for Diaz and necessities like a walker, a wheelchair, and oxygen tanks.
Diaz admits she didn't believe COVID-19 was real and questioned the vaccine, but said her recent experience has changed her mind and she's now asking people to reconsider getting the vaccine.
“If you aren’t vaccinated, I think it’s a good idea to get vaccinated,” Castillo said.
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