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    • Enes-Dedic-photo.jpg

      Enes Dedic

      In early March, Enes Dedic, a 55-year old contractor from Phoenix, traveled to Bosnia for his mother’s funeral. Upon return to the United States, COVID-19’s telltale symptoms emerged — fever, vomiting, headaches and shortness of breath.

      By mid-month, Enes tested positive and was hospitalized, intubated and placed on high-flow oxygen to combat respiratory failure and bilateral pneumonia. After several days at HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, doctors transferred him to the intensive care unit of HonorHealth John C. Lincoln North Mountain Medical Center.

      Gravely ill, Enes was connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, replacing heart and lung functions, and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), which acted as external kidneys. Complications set in including a gastrointestinal blockage and blood clots requiring a transfusion.

      Despite long odds, he stabilized and by late April transferred to HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital for additional healing and recovery time. A physician-led team of nurses and therapists created a plan to help Enes recuperate.

      Physical therapists used a variety of techniques including controlled strengthening stretches and timed muscle contraction to build stamina. Tossing and kicking balls and using an agility ladder increased Enes’ standing balance and endurance. Over time, he graduated to walking and negotiating stairs.

      Occupational therapists integrated into the program daily living activities such as bathing, dressing and safely transferring from sitting to standing.

      In between sessions, Enes planned for post-COVID life. He wanted to eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and practice daily gratitude. After 11 days, he walked out of the hospital independently and into the arms of his wife Olivera. The staff lined the entrance at a safe distance and burst into thunderous applause.

      Enes will continue his recovery at home with the assistance of visiting health aides. Of his time at HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital, Enes said “My therapists were wonderful. They were tough, but gentle, using humor and encouragement to get me through difficult days. These guys are heroes. All of them gave 100 percent of themselves.”