World War II Fighter Pilot Recovers at The Villas


The Nazis couldn’t take him down more than 70 years ago and neither could a bout with COVID-19.
Escondido resident and former World War II fighter pilot Richard Marshall was discharged from the Villas of Poway last week after rehabilitating from complications due to COVID-19. One week short of his 96th birthday, Marshall said he’s one of the lucky ones to have survived the virus at such an advanced age, while giving credit for his recovery to his exceptional care team.
“They’re top grade,” Marshall said. “The staff is wonderful. The difference is the people. The nurses, the technicians, the therapists, they’re really good and I’ve been lots of other places, so I have good comparisons.”
Marshall contracted the virus in an assisted living facility and was treated at Palomar Medical Center Poway before being transferred to the Villas to recuperate. Palomar Health Occupational Therapist Christopher Raab said the care team’s goal was to get Marshall back to being physically independent, which they accomplished in about two weeks.
When he came to the Villas he needed assistance with getting dressed, going to the restroom and moving around on his own. He would also tire easily. By the time he left, he could walk more than 60 steps on his own, with the aid of a walker.
“He was extremely motivated and for him, independence was important,” Palomar Health Physical Therapist Venkateswari Arasu said. “We worked to strengthen his arms and legs to walk the distance he was walking before. We catered our treatment to his goals; he was very appreciative of that.”
Marshall has returned to the assisted living facility in Escondido to reunite with his friends.

Caption: 95-year-old Richard Marshall was discharged from the Villas on Friday, January 15.

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