Recovering from COVID-19: Kelli Finke’s journey with pulmonary rehab

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After nine weeks, Lincoln woman, Kelli Finke, has completed pulmonary rehabilitation at CHI Health St. Elizabeth. Finke was diagnosed with COVID-19 last October, and has never really recovered.

Finke said she is not back to her pre-COVID self, but is happy with the progress she’s made in rehab.

When 10/11 last caught up with Finke, she was making a Thanksgiving meal for the girls in the group home where she works. Cooking for that many had seemed unimaginable not long ago.

Her nine weeks of training included cardio and weight training exercises to rebuild her lung strength after nearly a year of being sick. Her training helped build her up to do every day things, like cooking.

“I also don’t think this is as good as I’m going to get, I think that I’m going to continue to hopefully get better or adjust a little bit more to open more doors for me,” said Finke.

One of Finke’s main goals for pulmonary rehab was to graduate from needing her oxygen tank all the time. She succeeded.

“I can do almost everything that I set out to do,” said Finke.

Finke said she is glad to be back to life without her oxygen tank and back to doing things she enjoys, like playing pool.

“I am a pool player so, I’m being able to play pool,” said Finke. “I’m being able to adjust to what I can on that .”

A year out from diagnosis, Finke is now living a life she wasn’t sure was feasible.

“Being able to survive through all of that and get through this, it’s made me stronger, more resilient, more tolerant,” said Finke.

Finke said she plans to keep walking on the treadmill and exercising to maintain her strength.

Learn more about CHI Health St. Elizabeth Pulmonary Rehab here.

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