Health Plus: Man walks again thanks to Covenant Rehab - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Man walks again thanks to Covenant Rehab

Covenant's now-expanded rehabilitation department continues to help patients overcome the odds.  Physical therapists helped one man walk again when he was told he wouldn't.

Alan Fiala knew something was wrong but he put off going to the doctor until it was almost too late.

"I couldn't breathe. I couldn't catch my breath. Christy came home, my wife, came home from work and I was sittin' on the sofa... just shortness of breath and I knew I was sick," said Alan.

The 57-year-old from Webster City had such a severe case of pneumonia, he had to be sedated for two months.

That led to polyneuropathy -- a condition that caused his nerves to basically fall asleep.

"Who tied me down?  Because I couldn't move and that was about March 13, 14, 15, somewhere in there," he said. 

"He almost died on me five times. I was asked several times, told several times, to be prepared that he wasn't going to make it through this crisis or I would have to make the decision that I would have to unhook him from the ventilator," said Christy Fiala, Alan's wife.

That's where Covenant Medical Center's Rehabilitation Unit comes in.

"He could barely move a finger. He could wiggle a few toes. He could shake his head. So we had a long ways to go. We knew that, you know, first you have to get back some strength and then work on even being able to sit up, sitting up having laid down in bed for so long. Every time we set a goal for him, by Friday we're gonna be doing this, we were doing it by Wednesday," said Krissy DuFour, a physical therapist with Covenant Rehab.

For more than two months the farmer went from only being able to move his eyes and neck to walking -- defying medical odds.

"He has always pushed himself and said, 'So now what are we gonna do?'" added DuFour.

"And the people come in and out with strokes and amputations and they're honestly better. I can watch 'em get better and so I'm gettin' better, too," said Alan.

Alan's wife was willing to drive hundreds or miles each week from Webster City for Alan to go through rehab at Covenant.

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