PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Victoria inducts new patient into their ‘Wall of Fame’

"It's made me enjoy life more. Appreciate people more, my family, my wife, and these therapies here, the nurses were great. Everyone just treated me, the administration, all treated me so good," says Copes.

VICTORIA, Texas – Billy Copes spent five and half weeks on a ventilator after he got COVID-19, and at one point it wasn’t looking like he’d make it out of the hospital alive, but he did which earned him a spot on PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Victoria’s Wall of Fame. It’s a wall dedicated to patients who beat the odds and overcome life-threatening illnesses or extreme health adversities.

It was last August when Copes received a positive COVID-19 test result. It was debilitating, nearly killing him, and after being sedated for two months he was unable to walk to eat on his own. Copes, a Goliad resident, ended up in the PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Victoria, and after months of rehab was able to overcome his illness and walk again. On Monday afternoon there was a ceremony that featured his story, giving PAM’s staff and Copes a chance to talk about their journey.

Copes says coming that close to death has made him look at life differently.

“It’s made me enjoy life more. Appreciate people more, my family, my wife, and these therapies here, the nurses were great. Everyone just treated me, the administration, all treated me so good,” says Copes.

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Copes with some of the PAM staff that helped in his journey back to health as he recovered from COVID-19.

Copes says that he was at the threshold of death, and he says that when he got down or felt like giving up, it was his faith and the hospital staff that helped him through those dark times. Copes says that he wasn’t leaving the hospital until he could walk, so it was January this year when he finally walked out of PAM. Now he returns 3 days a week for rehab.

Numerous PAM Health staff also spoke at the event saying Copes and his drive to beat COVID-19 inspired and impacted them.PAM Health usually has a Wall of Famer every year but due to COVID-19, it’s been close to three years since the last inductee.