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With No Place to Turn, LVHN Helps Downingtown Man Overcome COVID-19 Debilitation

Nathaniel Logan was so severely weakened by COVID-19, he had difficulty finding a rehabilitation facility to assist his recovery. But LVHN Inpatient Rehabilitation Services came to his aid.

nathaniel logan

After a battle with COVID-19 had taken most of the life out of Nathaniel Logan, his family was left with few options. Logan’s condition had stabilized sufficiently for him to be discharged from the hospital, but he had been so weakened by the virus that no rehabilitation facility administrators near his Downingtown, Pa., home felt comfortable admitting him.

“My physical condition had deteriorated to the point where I couldn’t walk, I could hardly speak and I had extreme shortness of breath,” the 60-year-old Logan says. “No one thought I was in any position to participate in the rehabilitation process.”

Finding a rehab partner

That’s when Logan’s sister, Sabrina Logan, MD, Chief, Division of Critical Care Medicine with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), approached Inpatient Rehabilitation Center–Cedar Crest about admitting him for rehabilitation. Referrals for inpatient rehabilitation can be made by hospitals, patients or their families. A team led by Beth Stepanczuk, MD, Medical Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation Center–Cedar Crest and Inpatient Rehabilitation Center–Muhlenberg, reviews each case to see if the patient is appropriate for admission.

“Other facilities closer to Nathaniel’s home were recommending nursing homes, but we felt he may not get the necessary rehabilitation there,” Sabrina Logan says. “Dr. Stepanczuk felt LVHN would be a good option because it was in a hospital setting, and if we needed other hospital services, they would be readily available.”

“Sometimes extreme debility or symptoms from severe illnesses prevent someone from engaging in the required three hours of therapy per day,” Stepanczuk says. “So, it’s not surprising Nathaniel wasn’t admitted at some facilities in his condition. LVHN Inpatient Rehabilitation facilities have the experience and tools to manage some of the most complicated illnesses and conditions, paving the way for patients to make their best recovery.”

Nathaniel’s journey with COVID-19 began in July 2020 when his symptoms progressed rapidly and he found himself in a COVID unit at a hospital near his home.

“I remember being in an emergency room,” Logan says. “I really don’t remember much after that.”

He arrived at Inpatient Rehabilitation Center–Cedar Crest in mid-September 2020 and embarked on a four-week program.


COVID-19 patient thanks LVHN for helping him recover

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Regaining strength, independence

“At first, we needed two people to hoist Nathaniel out of bed into a sitting position, to help him stand and to get dressed. It was slow going in the beginning,” Stepanczuk says.

But that all quickly changed.

“It was painful at first, let me tell you,” Logan says. “But I told myself and the specialists helping me, no pain, no gain. We said that every day.”

Logan advanced to taking a few steps and getting dressed. Then, he worked on his endurance until he could manage getting around with a walker and then on his own.

“I couldn’t even sit up at first, then I found I could,” Logan says. “Each day it was something different in their gym and each day my balance and endurance got better. Walking by myself again was the hardest. Once I got that, I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.”

Thankful for care

Four weeks later, Logan was well enough to go home and continue rehabilitation on an outpatient basis.

“By the time he left us, he was walking at least 200 feet and climbing more than a flight of stairs independently,” Stepanczuk says. Logan expressed his gratitude in a letter to Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, LVHN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We coached him through the program, but Nathaniel had to do the hard work of recovering. He is the star of this story,” Stepanczuk says. 

Today, Logan has plans to return to work as a human services company administrator. He’s happy to report he feels close to his old self. How happy?

“I visited the hospital where I was treated for COVID and ran into one of the nurses from my unit in the parking lot,” he says. “When she saw me for the first time since I was discharged, she broke down in tears. Then I was crying, too. Maybe that tells you what it meant to both of us to see me feeling healthy again.”

Learn more about Lehigh Valley Health Network Inpatient Rehabilitation Services at

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