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Strike 1, 2, and 3! COVID-19, you’re outta here! Yankees fan at Nursing Home beats COVID-19 in time for 96th birthday

Florence Simek poses in her Yankees gear shortly before her surprise birthday celebration at Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center

Florence poses for a selfie with Kathleen Ferlise, Director of Concierge Services at Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center

CHATHAM , NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, June 3, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Florence Simek was gearing up for Opening Day for the 2020-’21 MLB season when she suddenly fell ill, later testing positive for COVID-19.

At nearly 96-years-of-age, Florence was determined to beat the virus, just in time to watch her beloved New York Yankees and their upcoming season. After being confirmed positive for COVID-19, Florence was transferred to Chatham Hills’ isolated observation unit for continued monitoring and specialized care.

“When my mom came down with the COVID-19 virus, all family members just lost a little bit of hope for her,” shared Florence’s daughter, Bernadine Claufield.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, nursing homes across the East Coast accepted and treated COVID-19 positive patients from acute care settings to allow for the influx of patients being admitted to local hospitals. Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center is known in the Chatham, New Jersey community for specializing in short-term rehabilitation services and skilled nursing care.

Unable to visit with her family, Bernadine, her brother, and other family members teamed up with Chatham Hills’ Concierge Services and Therapeutic Recreation departments to FaceTime with Florence through care and therapy sessions. Florence began to build on her progress and her family began to find hope in an unanticipated recovery.

“With this virus going around, seniors are having great difficulty with navigating their health and wellness. I just have to say that we are totally blessed by all the help at Chatham Hills. They surrounded my mom with good health, love, and things that we couldn't provide; they really went above and beyond. They are an amazing group,” offered Claufield.

Florence discharged from Chatham Hills’ COVID-19 isolation unit after testing negative for COVID-19, making what the staff called, “an incredible and inspiring recovery.”

“As healthcare professionals, our drive, passion, and our why is all about making a difference in the lives of others,” shared Chad Kaufman, Administrator of Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center.

“Words cannot describe how proud I am of our entire team from each and every department, who have worked together as a family, team, and unit, to provide the highest levels of compassionate care to those we serve, both diagnosed with and without COVID-19,” Kaufman continued.

Despite the MLB season being placed on hold, the staff at Chatham Hills wanted to bring the baseball season Florence had been longing for with a Yankees themed birthday celebration in honor of her 96th birthday. Florence donned a signature Yankees jersey and cap surrounded by a baseball park themed solarium as the staff at Chatham Hills sang her happy birthday alongside her family, who attended the celebration through a glass corridor.

“When I was growing up and lived with my mom and dad, we would always hear them cheering and screaming at the television during Yankees games. My mom and dad watched every game that they could and loved the franchise,” said Claufield.

Florence joined her Chatham Hills family in singing and humming along to baseball-themed songs of the past and loudly shouting, “Go Yankees!”

"When I think of my mother and my father, I just think of them as the survivors of the greatest generation that are still leading the way for us as they are surviving this virus,” shared Rudy Simek, Florence’s son.

Rudy continued, “She [Florence] has lived through wars, depressions, and a worldwide pandemic, and has survived them all. She is just absolutely amazing and she proves to us every day that her generation is truly special.”

Florence is currently residing at Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center as a long-term and COVID-19-free resident. She visits with her family virtually as the center awaits approval from local, state, and federal regulating agencies to approve non-essential visitation.

Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center is a member of the CareRite Centers Network. CareRite Centers supports the skilled nursing and rehabilitation needs for patients across the states of New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Florida. With a deep commitment to customer service, employee engagement, and patient experience, CareRite Centers’ mission is to foster and provide unprecedented levels of genuine care and customer service for their communities’ Rehabilitation and Nursing needs.

Ashley Romano
CareRite Centers, LLC
+1 631-617-7785
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