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Listen to an audio version of this column narrated by the author.

Unit 6H of the hospital was an intensive care unit. This was the temporary home of critically ill patients, including those who had recently tested positive for COVID-19. The four white brick walls of Room B11 on this floor housed a patient who recently had been transferred from the neuro-science floor. This patient had sustained a C3 incomplete spinal cord injury, leaving her able to create only minimal volitional muscle contractions in any of her extremities. She was, by rehabilitation standards, dependent in every single aspect of “normal” daily life.

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