Duane Ray

Duane Ray has always been a fighter. The former police officer and Navy Seal knows what it takes to fight for his life, and in September 2020, he faced one of his biggest challenges. Duane was admitted to the Providence Medford Medical Center for acute respiratory failure due to a combination of COVID-19 and pneumonia. His chance of survival was only 2-4%.

“The Providence doctors told me to say goodbye to him, but I just couldn’t do it,” said Michelle, Duane’s longtime love and partner. Duane eventually beat the odds and survived but only to face the next big fight, relearning how to do all the things he no longer could. He continued his fight on the path to recovery at Vibra Specialty Hospital of Portland.

“When we came to Vibra I was blown away,” said Michelle. “All the nurses and respiratory staff are so positive and so helpful here. Even when I wasn’t positive, everyone would say, ‘don’t think like that or stay positive’ and it helped us so much.”

The staff worked to create a welcoming environment for Duane and his loved ones.

“Alice, the housekeeper, comes in with a smile and tells us ‘it will be a good day’. Robert, RN, connected with Duane and inspired him in his recovery. Josephine, the dietician, made such a difference; she was always so positive. Jamie, CNA, is keeping us in her prayers and has throughout our stay. Everyone is awesome. If I lived in Portland, I would apply for a job here. I just love it here!”

The staff encouraged Duane to push himself, and with everyone’s support and care, he fought for his progress. His strength showed in recovery milestones like weaning from high flow oxygen down to a nasal cannula, being fed through a feeding tube to feeding himself, going from being bedridden to walking 300 feet, and from not being able to speak to communicating as well as he did before his complications.

Duane fought for those recovery results so he could achieve his most important life milestone, proposing to Michelle. They plan to marry in May 2021. Michelle stated, “Vibra is such a special place to us and we will be thinking of all of you on our wedding day.”