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Patients Benefit From New Exercise Equipment Purchased by Foundation

When Troy Canada, Lead Occupational Therapist at CVPH, wanted to help COVID-19 patients required to stay in isolation at the hospital, his idea sounded like a well-known video game console.

“This particular device is called the Ex-Box,” Troy said.

That is short for Exercise Box, and it is far different than picking up a controller and mashing buttons to pass the time away.

“What it is, is a device where you can exercise your legs and your arms, either isolated or at the same time,” Troy explained.

In all, there are ten Ex-Boxes in use by patients, all purchased through a mini-grant that Troy applied for and was approved by The Foundation of CVPH. Initially, the machines were used by patients with COVID-19 who were being cared for in isolation.

“They’re not allowed to come outside their room. So, they spend a great deal of time in their room by themselves, not moving,” Troy noted. “I wanted to come up with something that would be able to minimize some of the deconditioning that these patients might experience from not moving. This device allows people to keep their endurance up and even get a little strength back from some of the effects of the COVID-19 infection itself.”

Troy added that regaining strength has been key to helping patients prepare for their transition home. It has also kept patients engaged in their recovery from the illness.

“It can be pretty lonely, being isolated for so long and just staring at a TV for hours. The Ex-Box gets patients moving. And because it is so lightweight and portable, an occupational therapist doesn’t always have to be available. Our nursing and care teams can assist patients with the device, and that also promotes more interaction between the patient and staff.”

Troy pointed out one patient’s experience as a perfect example of how the Ex-Box is having a positive impact.

“Beforehand, he wasn’t participating in a lot of activity. But once we offered this device to use, he perked right up. He couldn't stop raving about how excited he was. So it definitely played a part in his emotional state, because I think he felt like he was actually doing something,” Troy said.

The Ex-Box is easily wiped down before being used by another patient. Each device also features adjustable resistance bands to meet the varied capabilities of each patient. And while the equipment has been used primarily for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, they can be used by many other patients in the hospital. Troy remains grateful for The Foundation and the many people who have generously given to support the care he and his team provide.

“I can’t say enough about The Foundation. We couldn’t provide some of the specialized care without their assistance and the many people who donate to The Foundation. We’re as excited as the patients are when we’re able to get that support, because we know how much of a difference it’s going to make in patient care. That kindness and generosity from the community means the world to myself and to my colleagues.”