- The first ever COVID-19 patient at a hospital in New York City has now been discharged.
- After 53 days of battling the virus, Rodrigo Saval, received a grand sendoff for winning the fight.
- In an emotional video, hospital employees were celebrating, clapping, and cheering him on as he was pushed outside in his wheelchair.
A New York City hospital’s first ever patient diagnosed with COVID-19 has beaten the virus after almost two months of battling with it and has now received a grand sendoff.
On March 7, Rodrigo Saval, was confined to the hospital after he was confirmed positive of the coronavirus. At that time, the number of confirmed cases in the state was only 76, says WNBC.
He spent 53 days at the hospital and half of it he was intubated fighting for his life.
The marathon runner from Chile never gave up and fought hard even during those times when his prognosis looked bad. On Wednesday, his determination finally bore fruit as he was discharged from the facility.
It was an emotional moment as the hospital workers lined the hall celebrating the success complete with balloons as Rodrigo is being pushed out in his wheelchair which was recorded in a video.
Outside, more doctors, nurses, and staff were waiting to applaud Rodrigo and cheer for him.
The hospital’s spokesperson told People Rodrigo holds a special place in the hearts of the staff being the hospital’s first COVID-19 patient. They could not just send him off without a grand celebration.
“He meant a lot to all of the staff,” says the spokesperson. “Hundreds of people cared for him and his release meant a great deal to our hard working nurses and doctors.”
The hospital’s ICU Nurse Manager, Jennie Drexler, told WNBC: “I think we needed this win and it’s such a blessing to see. He’s our personal mascot almost!”
In an interview with the local outlet, Rodrigo said he only remembers the nightmares which was a traumatic experience.
“It wanted to kill me,” he said. “I was running all over the place and trying to hide, so it wouldn’t get me. That’s the only thing I remember.”
Rodrigo plans to stay in New York City a bit longer to fully recover and undergo rehab treatment. As soon as he is healthy enough, he would then return home to see his family in Chile.