“Happy!” That’s how Miguel Veragallardo summed up his feelings after learning he would soon be discharged from the hospital. The 50-year-old resident of Cedarville was one of the first patients admitted to Inspira Medical Center Vineland for treatment of COVID-19. In total, he spent 33 days in the hospital, nearly four weeks of which were in the ICU.
As he was wheeled out the main entrance of the hospital last week, he was embraced by his daughter and son while more than a dozen members of his care team clapped and smiled. The tearful reunion had been a long time coming. The statewide ban on hospital visitors meant his loved ones had not seen him for more than a month. Despite the physical separation, his family remained a source of strength. Veragallardo spoke to them frequently, when his condition allowed. In the days leading up to his discharge, he thought about the big hugs he wanted to give them.
For a patient to spend more than three weeks on a ventilator and then be discharged to home was true cause for celebration. Veragallardo felt well taken care of by his care team, who were inspired by his recovery.
“I feel very grateful for all of the staff,” Veragallardo told his nurse, the day before he was discharged. “The doctors and nurses took good care of me and I appreciate it.”
“He inspired us,” said Michele Zucconi, R.N., M.S.N., C.C.R.N., administrative director of Critical Care for Inspira Medical Centers Vineland and Elmer. “His successful recovery motivated our Critical Care team who continues to demonstrate extraordinary efforts as we work together to provide care for our patients, family and community. We are so happy for him and his family.”
The former patient also has a message for his community. He recommends they take good care of themselves, follow the precautions and keep informed by watching the news about COVID-19.