Local woman with COVID-19 discharged from rehab center against her wishes; fears patients, staff at risk

A Porter Ranch woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while recovering from surgery at the California Rehabilitation Institute in Century City believes more staff and patients there were exposed to coronavirus. 

Elisa Wishan was sent to the rehab center on March 10 following a disc replacement. "I've never been in a situation like this. All I've been trying to do is take care of myself and get well," said Wishan. 

She made a Facebook Live video Saturday after being discharged from the facility, which she believes was "wrong." 

"They should have kept me there before all this happened because there was better care there with around the clock medications. They should have said 'take her to UCLA or Cedars Sinai, wherever we can get her care,' and they did not do that. They were more concerned about being affected [with coronavirus] but they're already affected," said Wishan. 

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Wishan said during her stay, multiple staff members including nurses and physical therapists cared for her without using protective gear. 

"There are nurses, pregnant nurses, in here who took care of me without wearing masks before this became a big deal. The fact is that the virus is in there now. Those patients and those nurses have been affected, that's what happened. It's a concern of mine because I care about those people," said Wishan. 

She believes all of the staff and patients should be immediately tested for coronavirus.

"Everybody should stand in line and have these nurses and physical therapists tested no matter what. That's why I did it [the Facebook Live video]. That's why I had no choice. It was that important to me, not just because I was sick, but because of the other people there," said Wishan. 

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Wishan said she had a high fever when she was sent home. "I have a 101, 102 fever. It goes up and down, the chills, everything you can imagine and a horrible cough are my symptoms. This virus is pretty serious, and the hospital [rehab center] decided to discharge me," she said. 

Shelly Eckenroth, the Senior Vice President from the California Rehabilitation Institute sent a statement: 

"That patient’s discharge was mutually agreed upon as the best course of action for her after consultation with her and her physicians.  Her father, also a physician, contacted us and agreed that her discharge was appropriate.  We believe that she will soon recover at home, but she should return to an acute care hospital setting if her condition worsens. There is a shortage of respirators, facemasks and other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) nationally as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Select Medical, like all other hospital systems, is working around the clock to acquire as much PPE as possible. At the California Rehabilitation Institute (CRI), we currently do have an adequate supply of PPE. CRI has instituted a policy of masking for all staff and patients. We are following CDC guidelines regarding the use of PPE and for dealing with short supply." 

Wishan said her father was not in communication with the California Rehabilitation Institute and did not agree to her discharge.

She also denies a mutual agreement and said she "threw up blood" on Sunday, and called paramedics to her home. 

"They're telling me I would be better at home, but paramedics were already here. I've spoken with doctors over the phone, and they don't agree with that," she said. 

She is self-quarantining alone in her home until she recovers from the virus. She is hoping people will help drop food and essentials at her door to help her.