Healthcare Headlines Blog

Ms. Opdyke leaves Kindred Hospital with a smile and new appreciation for her extended lease on life.

Aubrey Opdyke, a 27-year-old wife and mother came to Kindred Hospital – The Palm Beaches after a two-month battle for her life at a local sub acute hospital against Public Enemy No. 1; swine flu. Ms. Opdyke had spent five weeks in a coma, suffered six collapsed lungs, a near-fatal seizure and worst of all, lost the child she was carrying. The young mother had been six months pregnant with her second child when she contracted H1N1 that July. In spite of every possible effort, her baby girl could not be saved. Once her condition had stabilized, Ms. Opdyke was transferred to Kindred Hospital having lost two months of her life and the life of her child during the medically induced coma that had saved her life.

Ms. Opdyke arrived at Kindred Hospital September 8 to be weaned from the ventilator that had breathed for her since July 5 and to receive physical therapy for her atrophied muscles. The Kindred pulmonary and rehab team at The Palm Beaches went to work to help the young mother return to the child and husband for whom she had fought so hard to survive in what she calls the worst months of her life. By September 10, Ms. Opdyke was breathing on her own for the first time in two months. By September 25, she no longer needed supplemental oxygen. After a few weeks working intensely with Kindred’s PT team, Ms Opdyke was able to walk again with the aide of a walker. With continued therapy, her doctors anticipate her return to full function within six months.

A little under three weeks after coming to Kindred Hospital, Ms. Opdyke was discharged at 2 p.m. September 29 with flowers, a Florida State balloon and a new outlook on life. Though her run-in with swine flu cost her immeasurably financially, physically and emotionally with the loss of her baby, Ms. Opdyke prescribes to an attitude of gratitude.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” she says.

By Sophia Kroon