Ron Hill

It was the last weekend in February when Ron Hill drove from Fresno to southern California to attend a funeral. He made the most of this trip by visiting some of his family members that lived in the area. The trip was fairly quick and easy according to Ron.

Approximately one week later, Ron noticed he was getting sick. He developed symptoms starting with fatigue, cough, and a sore throat. From one day to the next, Ron was unable to overcome his symptoms. Ron couldn’t help but wonder if he caught “a bug,” although no one in his home was sick.

Ron later learned that the cousin he visited in southern California tested positive for COVID-19.

All this concerned Ron’s wife, Debbie, so she took him to the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente in Fresno.

Ron took a COVID-19 test and two days later he received the bad news – the result was positive. Luckily no one else in Ron’s house became sick as they quarantined themselves.

Ron checked into Fresno’s Kaiser Permanente Medical Center the day he learned of the positive test. “At that point, I was sick and just remember praying to beat this thing,” he stated.

Shortly after Ron admitted, things took a turn for the worse as he fought serious complications. Ron developed a bacterial infection and suffered a stroke, all while fighting COVID-19.

Ron transferred to the intensive care unit. He spent 29 of 45 days at Kaiser in a medically-induced coma. It was a slow road to recovery, but one which he overcame.

“I’m so thankful for so many people at Fresno Kaiser,” Ron said. “They saved my life!”

In May, Ron’s doctors referred him to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital to begin acute rehab and focus on improving his strength.

Although Ron arrived unable to sit or stand on his own, he was eager to start physical and occupational therapy. With each passing day, Ron became stronger and stayed motivated to achieve his goal and advance his progress.

“I never gave up on living, even during my worst days,” Ron stated. “I am a man of faith and God spoke to me and let me know I’m not done. I just kept challenging myself every day.”

With his unwavering determination, Ron worked with his therapy team to accomplish one goal after another.

“I want to give a special thanks to my physical therapist, Jenelle, and everyone at San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital for working so hard to help me,” said Ron. “Everyone was very supportive, it kept me going.”

At 70-years-old, Ron had recently overcome cancer, and now, defying all odds, he beat COVID-19.

“My goal has always been to get home,” Ron stated. “I want to feel strong enough to walk on my own and eventually play golf again.”

After several weeks of inpatient therapy at SJVRH, Ron accomplished his goal of improving his strength. Ron was able to discharge back home. Ron proudly took one step after another, walking out of the doors of San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital! Nothing short of remarkable!