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Surviving ventilators, only to find lives diminished
Felice J. Freyer
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The Boston Globe
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Two months after leaving the intensive care unit, Rob Rainer returned to his law practice in Revere, eager to resume his old life after surviving a severe lung infection that tethered him to a breathing machine for a month.
But as he sat down at his desk, the former hard-driving multitasker found he couldn’t stay on track with even one task. Phone conversations left him overwhelmed. He was baffled by a computer program he himself had developed.
Today, five years later, Rainer’s life is very different — his law practice shuttered, his two houses sold. At 58, he lives modestly with his wife in a small condo in Hudson, N.H.
While the novel coronavirus didn’t exist in 2015, today thousands of COVID-19 patients in the United States are enduring the same experience that Rainer did, lying in a medication-induced coma as a ventilator pushes air into their weakened lungs for days or weeks on end. And like Rainer, many will never be the same.
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