Vicki's Story

A beloved daughter, wife and mother beats the odds following medical complications

In early February, Vicki Fasick spent a regular day, running errands and going to appointments with her service dog, Sunshine. She began feeling ill and called her mom, Janet, who was so alarmed she dialed 911.

An ambulance rushed Vicki to Mercy Hospital where she arrived barely conscious, nauseous and vomiting. Testing revealed Vicki had a previously undiagnosed stone in her ureter – a small tube leading from the kidney to the bladder-- that had become infected.

Rushed into surgery, a cascade of complications followed, including respiratory failure. Vicki spent 10 days on a ventilator before liberating.

It was a hopeful milestone, but Vicki still had a long road to recovery. Her medical team recommended Select Specialty Hospital – Cincinnati for its experience in treating medically complex patients.

Vicki arrived in mid-February minimally conscious, unable to move, eat or speak.

Her family’s main goal was to return Vicki to her previous level of independence, so a physician-led team including therapists and nurses, created a plan to help her recover.

Physical and occupational therapists began a passive mobility program, moving Vicki’s arms and legs to keep the blood flowing and oxygen circulating. After a month, Vicki could reliably follow objects with her eyes and whisper “yes” or “no” to simple questions.

Every day, therapists worked with Vicki review skills she had mastered and add new ones.

Janet was constantly at her daughter’s side, encouraging her to participate in therapy. Vicki’s sister, Lo, also visited to for support.

Speech therapy sessions helped Vicki relearn the names of objects and explain what they did.

By mid-March, Vicki was strong enough to sit at the bed’s edge with help. When she moved from bed to chair, she reached another milestone. Vicki and her whole family felt recovery was picking up speed. Then, she tested herself and tried standing for the first time, with two therapists helping. Four days after that, she was walking with assistance.

Vicki’s recovery coincided with the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States. To protect our patients and staff, we enforced a “no visitors” policy.  The team knew how much Vicki’s family motivated her, so they facilitated FaceTime video calling. Her mom and sister were ecstatic as they watched Vicki walk in the hall for the first time since her hospitalization.

On March 24, Vicki left our hospital for home. She’s ready to get back to Sunshine, her husband, Mark, and the rest of her family.

She has one more goal – visiting her son, Christopher, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in California.

In-person visits are curtailed for now, but she looks forward to showing off her new FaceTime skills until the virus subsides.