Our Patients, Our Priority

Recovering after COVID hospitalization can be difficult to navigate. Our team of rehabilitation experts provide a wide-range of specialized care to help patients regain their strength and mobility.

Samantha Lewis at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for Long-Covid recovery

NYT: Cognitive Rehab: One Patient’s Painstaking Path Through Long Covid Therapy

Nearly two years into the pandemic, advances have been made in treating Covid itself, but long Covid — a constellation of lingering health problems that some patients experience — remains little understood.

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Chris Ward and his family

Glen Ellyn dad has survived COVID-19, 9/11 and cancer

Chris Ward was diagnosed with COVID-19 the day before Thanksgiving. He had a headache, a rarity for him, and got a rapid test to rule out the virus before the holiday.

By the day after Thanksgiving, his heart was racing and he spiked a fever, so he went to the hospital.

He didn’t leave until February.

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Mahmoud A. doing rehabilitation at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

COVID-19 'long-haulers' work to regain basic skills, overcome 'brain fog' months after diagnosis

Chicago's Shirley Ryan Ability Lab created a COVID-19 rehabilitation unit in April. And as the number of cases rise in the area, so does the unit's number of patients getting therapy for the long-term effects of the virus.

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How We Heal

After a prolonged hospital stay due to COVID-19, including time spent in an intensive care units (ICU), rehabilitation plays an important role in recovery. Interdisciplinary teams of experts work with patients, many formerly on ventilators, to address loss in strength and fine motor skills, as well as dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and ongoing shortness of breath. Our teams are also able to provide stroke and neurologic rehabilitation for patients who have had strokes related to COVID infections.

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Nerve, Muscle & Bone Innovation Center

For over 60 years, we’ve been recognized for the depth of our expertise with conditions affecting the nerves, muscles, bones and joints in adults and children.

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Think + Speak Lab

Recovering the ability to think, reason, perceive, swallow, eat, talk, interact with others and make decisions are key for returning to yourself, loved ones and life. In this Lab, combined therapeutic care and scientific application help you recover these building blocks of ability.

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Strength + Endurance Lab

Designed for patients and research participants working on building stamina and resilience, the Nancy W. Knowles Strength + Endurance Lab is where therapy is targeted to improve complex motor and endurance activities, coordination and higher-level activities of daily living (cooking, dressing, gardening, sports).

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Our clinicians hold the multidisciplinary expertise to support the wide range of rehabilitation needs after COVID treatment.

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Beyond the Illness

Patients recovering from COVID-19 face some obstacles as others who have been on ventilators, but often must also work on regaining strength. Our interdisciplinary rehabilitation approach can improve function and mobility after diagnosis.

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Inpatients benefit from world-class technology in their recovery

Inpatient COVID Recovery Unit

We treat several thousand inpatients with a wide variety of functional impairments, from the common to the most complex.

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The first wearable device to monitor COVID-19 symptoms

Research Innovation for COVID Recovery

Our researchers have developed a novel wearable device and data algorithms specifically tailored to catch signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and to monitor patients as the illness progresses.

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Nurses prepare for a telehealth virtual visit

Continued At-Home Care

TeleHealth visits offer patients the flexibility to meet virtually with their clinicians and keep up remotely with their rehabilitation goals.

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Choosing Rehabilitation Post-COVID


After a long hospital stay, early and continuous rehabilitation can be key to recovery. As the #1 rehabilitation research hospital (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report), Shirley Ryan AbilityLab's leading team of expert clinicians and researchers is uniquely qualified to treat patients presenting the most complex rehabilitation cases.