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Corbitt recognizes care team through Gifts of Gratitude

Corbitt recognizes care team through Gifts of Gratitude

When retired Ashland City Manager Steve Corbitt arrived in the Emergency Department at King’s Daughters on May 3, 2022, he didn’t know how seriously ill he was … or that recovery would take more than a year.

Corbitt arrived by ambulance, where he was quickly diagnosed with bacterial meningitis - a rare, potentially life-threatening illness that’s more common in infants and teens than adults. Corbitt was placed on a ventilator and transferred to King’s Daughters Intensive Care Unit.

“The doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, neurodiagnostics, MRI, CT, and so many others who were an integral part of Steve’s care were competent, vigilant and supportive,” recalls the Corbitt family. “We have no doubt the quick interventions of the King’s Daughters team were key to his survival.”

The weeks following his admission to the hospital were intense. Anticipating he would require neurosurgical care not available at King’s Daughters, Corbitt was transferred by helicopter to the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital ICU on May 9, where he was hospitalized for 21 days. Kings Daughters became part of UK in December 2022 in a move to create greater access to complex high-quality care for patients like Corbitt.

Fortunately, Corbitt didn’t require neurosurgical intervention. As he grew more stable, the UK HealthCare team was able to take him off the ventilator and he soon began to respond to familiar voices. In early June, Steve was transferred back to King’s Daughters and admitted to the 4K Cardiac Stepdown Unit.

The team helped him continue to heal and regain strength while also developing a post-discharge rehabilitation plan. When he was strong enough, Corbitt was transferred to Cornerstone Specialty Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., where he continued to receive IV antibiotics and acute care. He remembers nothing of the entire experience but has vague recollections of his Cornerstone stay. A month later Corbitt was ready to take the next step in his journey back to health and was transferred to Kingsbrook Lifecare Center in Ashland.

“When I arrived at Kingsbrook, I was unable to sit or stand, without assistance,” Corbitt noted. “Within 24 hours, I was sitting in a chair and within 48 hours I was beginning to walk with a walker.” Thirty days later, Steve was discharged home, where he continued his recovery and began months of occupational and physical therapy through King’s Daughters outpatient rehabilitation services.

Steve has now passed the one-year mark since the onset of his illness. While he has some limited mobility due to a foot injury and previous back surgeries, Steve is enjoying life again. He attends church, drives where he needs to, has lunch with friends, and continues to build his strength at the local YMCA.

In recognition of the care Steve received at the King’s Daughters facilities, the Corbitt family has made donations to the Gifts of Gratitude Program of King’s Daughters Health Foundation honoring specific people who cared for him. Gifts of Gratitude provides an outlet through which patients and families can recognize outstanding team members and caregivers who made a difference in their care.

“I am so grateful my small hometown has a world-class medical center with phenomenal doctors, nurses and support staff who were able to act so quickly. There are so many people who took care of me I can’t recall,” Corbitt noted. “I am especially grateful I was able to meet the physicians at King’s Daughters and say thank you for working so hard in the first hours and days that no doubt saved my life, including: hospitalist Stacy Caudill, M.D.; emergency physician Pavan Kolluri, M.D.; intensivist Traci Sanchez, M.D.; infectious disease specialist Patrick Villafuerte, M.D.; and neurologist Tanya Warwick, M.D.

“The nurses, aides and staff at Kingsbrook were amazing,” he continued, “especially therapists Roan Montgomery and Rachel Hefner.” After his discharge home, King’s Daughters outpatient occupational therapist Clara Edmunds and physical therapists Brett Bowman and Corey Brown helped Steve regain strength and restore skills lost during hospitalization.

“We are grateful for God’s grace, the God-given talents of my care team, and that they choose to share these gifts in such a meaningful way,” Corbitt said. “For many years my motto has been ‘I’m overly blessed and undeservedly so.’ Nothing could be more fitting today.”

“Many times, patients want to do something meaningful to show how grateful they are to our care teams,” said Laura Patrick, director of King’s Daughters Health Foundation. “The Gifts of Gratitude program was created specifically for this purpose.”

Since 1983, the Health Foundation has helped to support the mission and vision of King's Daughters. Gifts of Gratitude donations may be earmarked for a particular service or program, or given to support general operations. For more information about the Health Foundation or the Gifts of Gratitude program, please visit or call (606) 408-9332.