Physical Therapist Danielle Holmes Faces COVID-19

Stories from the Southcoast Frontlines

The Commonwealth’s stay at home order last spring helped protect people from COVID-19 by limiting their exposure to the public. However, with everyone in their homes, essential workers and first responders still had a job to do, and they were willing to risk their health and safety to care for others. One of our #SouthcoastFrontlines Heroes, Danielle Holmes, never stopped seeing her patients.

An in-home physical therapist, Danielle is part of the Southcoast Visiting Nurse Association (VNA).  For over 25 years, she’s gone above and beyond – helping patients build strength and regain independence. Seeing a wide variety of patients with varying needs, she assists her patients with everything from rebuilding their strength after an injury to getting in and out of bed and living safely in their homes.

Danielle was one of just three physical therapists from the VNA to continue home visits at the beginning of the pandemic last March.

“When the pandemic began, people didn’t want us coming into their homes; they were really afraid,” she says. “The patients who did let us in didn’t want us to leave; they just wanted to be with talk to someone because of their isolation.”

Helping Patients Remain Independent

Knowing that physical therapy is critical to patients becoming strong and safe enough to remain independent, Danielle put her fears aside and continued to work. She braved the virus and even took on extra patients as she traveled all across the region to help.

“When I first saw patients with COVID-19, it was a little scary, trying to make sure I was using personal protective equipment [PPE] correctly,” she says.

Trusting the PPE to protect her when treating COVID patients, Danielle wears a KN95 mask, eye protection, a face shield, hairnet, gown, and gloves. She also makes sure to put all of her clothes straight into the laundry when she gets home. By following these protocols, Danielle has managed to stay healthy and COVID-negative so far.

Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Adapting to the new normal, Danielle now spends extra time to prepare for each visit based on risk. To further help protect herself, her family and her patients, Danielle received the COVID-19 vaccine when it became available to her.

Bringing her passion for physical health outside of work, which also helps her work off stress, some of her favorite hobbies include biking, running, and swimming. Danielle is looking forward to participating in a triathlon when the pandemic finally comes to an end. As a mom to three adult children, Danielle is thankful for the time she spends with family and friends. She also enjoys gardening and cooking.

Thank you, Danielle!