As the world continues to battle COVID-19, we have seen a lot of evidence showing that younger people often recover more easily than the older, frailer population. There are always exceptions, and Florence S., who is 104 years old, beat the odds and recovered from the disease. Florence has been a patient at Wellington Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Knightdale, North Carolina for eight years. In the beginning of May 2020, she was feeling ill, tested positive for COVID-19. 

The care delivery team decided that Florence would not go to the hospital for treatment. Instead, she was kept well hydrated and given vitamins, fruits, and fluids. She also got to enjoy an ample supply of ice cream and popsicles. Eventually, Florence recovered. The executive director of Wellington, Peggy Bulluck, said “She’s a tough cookie, to say the least.”

Bulluck is very proud of the cohesive team at Wellington, and credits them for devoting themselves to the patients. She said that because the family members are unable to visit, the staff becomes their family. “We are surrogate families, and it takes a huge toll on the staff,” she said. The hard work clearly pays off, as Wellington earned recognition from AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program with a Bronze award in 2018, and the Silver award in 2019.

Bulluck had several recommendations for care centers that are dealing with the coronavirus. She started by saying that of course, you always put the residents first. Make sure to follow all of the protocols set by the state, CDC, and other governing bodies. Finally, she said to always practice with full transparency. The care center kept staff, residents and families fully informed. Staff called each family to assure them that their loved ones were receiving the best possible care. The Wellington staff also reported daily to the state and emergency management.

Florence’s recovery story was shared on a local news outlet, and had a huge impact on the community. The care received calls of congratulations for taking great care of their patients. In response, Bulluck says,”Thank you to Florence’s family for allowing us to take care of her.” To all of the Wellington families, Bulluck says, “I am a servant leader, and I thank you for trusting me to take care of your loved ones.”

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