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Posted December 11, 2002 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Hose discharged from hospital

By Charlotte J. Eller

A Winchester man who survived anthrax a year ago has recovered sufficiently from a severe bout of pneumonia to be discharged from Winchester Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

David Hose, who was admitted to the hospital Oct. 30, was discharged Monday morning after six weeks of care, Carol Weare said.

Hose, who was released at 11:45 a.m., has been sent to a Front Royal nursing home, Valley Health System Vice President Lawrence K. van Hoose said.

Hose is being treated by a team of physicians including Dr. Mark Galbraith, who treated him when he was admitted for anthrax, van Hoose said.

Hose, 60, contracted inhalation anthrax Oct. 22, 2001, at his job at the U.S. State Department mail facility in Sterling, when several powder-laced letters were sent through postal facilities across the country.

Galbraith said Tuesday he sent Hose to a skilled nursing facility for physical therapy and to convalesce, according to van Hoose. Galbraith declined additional comment.
Van Hoose said the hospital staff "is proud to have types of services in the local community to treat a patient like Mr. Hose ... and throughout the region we serve."

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Hose's wife, Connie, who asked that the nursing home not be identified, said her husband likes his new surroundings in Front Royal.

"I thought he was really going to be depressed about it," she said. "But he likes it over there. He says everybody he comes in contact with is really nice. And the ones that I have met really are [nice]."

While she knew more than a week ago her husband would soon be leaving the hospital, she did not know when he would go until just before he was released.

"When I went into the hospital on Monday, I met the doctor in the hall, and he said David would be leaving at 11 a.m.," Mrs. Hose said.

"He's doing a lot better than he was. He's feeding himself, and calling people, talking to them," Mrs. Hose said. "All the pneumonia is gone."

Hose also has lost about 43 pounds since he suffered pneumonia, but it was weight he needed to lose, Mrs. Hose said.

"But right now, he's battling nerve damage" that has affected use of his legs, arms, back and hands, she said. "That's why he has to be in a nursing home. They're going to try and build him back up."

"And if it's going to make him better, then that's the way I want it," she said.

"He can't use his arms or his legs, but he can raise himself up and is able to swing his legs over the side of the bed. And they've had him up in a chair," she said.

Mrs. Hose is "thrilled" at her husband's progress. "He's really doing good for as sick as he was," she said.

As he continues to make progress at the facility, Hose will be sent to the Winchester Rehabilitation Center, she said.

Both his family and physicians are optimistic about Hose's recovery. "He may not recover totally, but he's doing good, and he looks good," she said.

"But he's not going to be able to go back to work," she said. "He's accepted that."

The nursing home has a wheelchair he can sit in, Mrs. Hose said. "I think that's going to be part of his therapy, wheeling himself around."

With Christmas just around the corner, Mrs. Hose, along with her daughter, Terri, is looking forward to spending the day with her husband at the nursing home. "I wish he could be here, but I don't think he's going to get that well that quick," she said.

Meanwhile, decorations already are up outside the Hose home. Reindeer prance across the lawn and snowmen keep a keen eye on candy canes marching up the walk.

In the midst of it all a brightly-lettered sign proclaims "Happy Birthday Jesus."

The decorations "are something I do every year," Mrs. Hose said. "I enjoy doing it."

But this year, her reason for preparing for the holiday -- for her husband -- is special.

The house's interior is partially decorated, she said and there will be a Christmas tree.

"And the decorations are not coming down until he comes home," she said.

If the weather permits, Mrs. Hose will be back in Front Royal at her husband's side today.

But if ice and snow keep her home, she knows what she will be doing.

"Decorating," she said. "Decorating the house for Christmas."

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