Ken Roth is still too weak to stand on his own, let alone walk.
Roth, 66, a recovering Covit-19 patient, has been receiving treatment in Calgary for nine months, and now for 279 days at St Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
His daughter, Kendra Roth, takes him out of the hospital in a wheelchair to get some fresh air and a little break from his hospital room.
“I was on every floor of this hospital,” he said. “I had a lot of ups and downs. It affected me a lot. I’m 240 now and I’m 300 before.”
He sighed, “It was hard … Covid caught me.”
Roth was a water treatment plant supervisor and retired fire chief, La Loch, Saskatoon, 600 kilometers northwest of Saskatoon.
The unvaccinated grandfather was hospitalized for COVID-19 at Foodhills Medical Center in Calgary on July 24, 2021, during a family vacation in Alberta. He was in a coma for several weeks and was airlifted to Saskatoon in early September.
His wife, Lorraine, and daughter, Kendra, moved to a hotel near St. Paul’s Hospital, where they have been staying since last fall.
“Sometimes I came in, even at 3am … he was nervous because there was no one he knew. So, when I came in, he was quiet. So, I’m all sitting here. Sometimes day and night,” Kendra said.
I have experienced many ups and downs. It really affected me. I was 240 pounds now, 300 pounds before.– Ken Roth, Covit-19 patient is recovering
Roth was one of 27 patients sent to Ontario for care when Saskatchewan’s ICUs were high in October. At the time, Roth told CBC News that his sudden traffic – without any notice or time to call his wife or daughter – reminded him of taking the Medis man to boarding school as a child.
Since returning to Saskatoon, Roth’s recovery has been hampered by pneumonia, adverse drug reactions, urinary tract infections and other setbacks.
Stays in hospital for a long time
Saskatchewan hospitals have more than 400 Govt-19 patients, more than any other wave of infection. However, more than half were admitted for diseases other than Govt, but tested positive for the virus. As of April 27, only about 20 people need intensive care.
Some govt-patients continue to spend long hours in the hospital.
Dr. Alexander Wong is an epidemiologist who has been treating patients for months at the Regina General Hospital.
“Especially with Alpha and Delta [waves] – When many of our worst patients were very sick – Many of us died, but those who did not die needed more time, energy and resources to recover at some point. Organization, “Wong said.
Most recently, according to the Saskatchewan Health Commission, 3,587 people were admitted to Saskatchewan hospitals from October 2021 to the end of March 2022 with cases of Govt-19. 98 – or 2.7 percent of them – have been hospitalized for more than 60 days.
“Although there have been only a hundred people staying for more than two months, the overall energy and work and system resources and people and all that is needed to keep those people alive are astronomical,” Wong said.
Although there are less intensive care patients on the Omigron wave, it still happens when that level of care is needed, Wong says.
Roth is grateful
Roth praises the medical staff who saved his life and those who are now trying to get him back on his feet.
“Some of them really run to try to help their patients,” Roth said.
The avid hunter is tired of being separated from his children and grandchildren, friends and former colleagues.
He also worries about paying home bills.
Roth was the sole breadwinner for his family, running the water treatment plant for the northern village of La Loch for more than 40 years, first as an employee and then as a private contractor.
But in February, the village stopped his pay without even a phone call, Roth says.
The mayor of La Loche, Georgina Jolibois, declined to comment.
Former mayor Robert St. Pierre, who has overseen Roth’s work for years, says he is surprised the village is not trying to benefit Roth.
“I would have found a way to work with Ken and make it easier for him to do what he does,” St. Pierre said.
Roth appreciates the support he has received from Métis Nation-Saskatchewan.
The formerly strong man must gain some strength to go to a rehab center and eventually return to La Loche.
“If he can stand on his own and take a step or two, I will take him home,” Kendra said. “My goal is to take him home. Even if I have to use a wheelchair at home, I will take him home and take care of him there. That’s where we have support.”