As a detective with the Missouri City Police Department, Brad Tippit must be able to do all the physical activities that are an integral part of his job. However, after contracting COVID-19, he could not even walk. He spent weeks at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital recovering from the virus. Then, he turned to Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy to help him get prepared to return to his job, helping to keep his city safe.
“In July 2021, I wasn’t feeling well so I took one of the over-the-counter COVID tests and it came back negative,” said Brad. “I went to the emergency room at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital anyway, where they gave me a COVID test, and that one came back positive. I went home with some medications later that day.”
Over the next two days, Brad’s condition worsened. A friend took him back to the hospital and he was admitted. He spent over three weeks as an inpatient where he was on a ventilator, battled pneumonia, suffered a collapsed lung and a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clot.
“The staff at the hospital told my mother and brother that I may not survive,” said Brad.
But he did survive. Once stable enough, he spent over three weeks at a long term acute care facility where his tracheostomy tube was removed. He was unable to walk, and began receiving therapy while at the LTAC to begin getting him back on his feet. From there, he was transported to Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy to continue his rehabilitation.
“When he arrived at our hospital, Brad was very deconditioned,” said Dr. Chukwuemeka Ibekwe, an affiliated Physical Medicine and Rehab (PM&R) specialist at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy. “His lungs had been affected causing him to become short of breath quickly. He was a hard worker and we wanted to rebuild his stamina.”
Jasmine Melian, his physical therapist said, “After assessing him, we realized Brad had poor strength and endurance, especially when using his trunk and hip muscles. Performing activities left him short of breath and with an increased heartrate. Our therapy sessions included breathing exercises, kneeling on mat with trunk movement, climbing many stairs and interval training using equipment. Upon discharge from inpatient care, he was able to bend over and pick up objects as well as climb steps with no difficulty at all.”
He also worked on his endurance during occupational therapy sessions.
“We used a variety of equipment, including the rower, a cycling machine, and the Rickshaw to increase his strength and endurance,” said his occupational therapist Laurie Lippert. “By the time he discharged he was able to go 20 minutes on the cycle, 15 minutes on the rower and 100 reps on the Rickshaw. He worked very hard and made tremendous progress during his time as an inpatient.”
After two weeks as an inpatient, Brad remained within the Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network and transitioned to outpatient therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation at Sugar Land. In outpatient therapy, he continued to build his endurance so that he can return to work.
“In outpatient therapy we did high-level intensity training to prepare him to get back to work,” said his outpatient physical therapist Jennifer Croft. “We worked on shoulder strength so he could hold up a gun, and we did burpees so that he could work on getting off the floor quickly. Our goal was to re-strengthen his heart and lungs.”
He also worked towards his goal of getting back to work in outpatient occupational therapy. “We worked on strengthening his upper body (scapula, shoulders, forearms, wrists, hands and fingers) to allow him to perform activities of daily living such as household tasks and grocery shopping,” said his occupational therapist, Shirley Kendziora. “Similar strengthening activities were performed so he could perform work activities like holding and firing a gun, typing reports, etc. Early on Brad required frequent rest breaks. However with continued therapy his endurance improved.”
“Everyone at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital – Katy and TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation at Sugar Land made me feel important and they wanted me to succeed,” said Brad. “I am very happy with my progress.”
For the 33rd consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 2 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.Learn More
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