Breathe: Isolde Bielawski and the nursing manager Hiltrud Blau hope that the patient in the therapy center for out-of-hospital ventilation (TAB) will learn to breathe again without a tube. Image: Michael Braunschädel

In a model experiment, seriously ill patients are weaned from the breathing tube in the therapy center for out-of-hospital ventilation in Hofheim. This takes time, but gives a lot of quality of life.

Isolde Bielawski was always there for others. As a single mother for the two children, for the sick parents, for the patients she looked after as a ward nurse. Even if she wasn’t doing so well. “The little cough, the little cold, it goes away on its own,” she thought. The woman from Wiesbaden had to fight infections again and again. In 2001 she was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis on a cure in Sankt Peter-Ording, but even then she took little care of herself. When she traveled to the spa by train again in 2018, people there wondered how she had even made it here. And just before Christmas 2022, the shortness of breath got so bad that the son called the emergency doctor. Then came the intensive care unit, ventilation, cure, intensive care unit again, this time for six weeks.

That doesn’t go unnoticed. “I lay there and had finished with life,” says Bielawski. The care in the clinic was bad, the prospect of a ventilation flat share for the rest of life seemed bleak to her. The focus there is on care, not therapy.

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