Gregg Garfield spent 31 of his 64 days in the hospital on a ventilator

By Georgia Slater
May 09, 2020 05:45 PM
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Credit: GoFundMe

After spending over two months battling the novel coronavirus in the hospital, Gregg Garfield was finally able to go home — and he was surprised with a special recovery send-off.

Known as "Patient Zero," Garfield was the first coronavirus patient to check into St. Joseph's Providence Medical Center in Burbank, California, after he contracted the virus in February on a group ski trip in northern Italy, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Garfield spent 64 days in the hospital, 31 of which he was on a ventilator, as he fought for his life in what his sister, Stephanie Garfield Bruno, wrote was "his most difficult journey to date."

On a GoFundMe page she set up for her brother, Stephanie wrote: "He had a 1% chance of surviving. The doctors and nursing staff had to always remain 3 steps ahead of any potential disasters because to enter his room took about 15 minutes for them to gear up in their hazmat attire."

After beating the odds, Garfield was discharged from the hospital Friday and met by his friends, family, and hospital staff to celebrate his healthy recovery.

Amanda Kloots — whose husband Nick Cordero continues to fight the coronavirus in the hospital — shared the heartwarming video of Garfield's departure from the hospital on her Instagram, admitting that she "watched this video maybe 100 times."

"Each time I get chills and teary-eyed," she added.

In the clip, Garfield is seen holding onto the arms of his sister and girlfriend as he stands up out of his wheelchair and makes his way out of the hospital doors. As he walks the hall, Garfield is surrounded by dozens of people with signs of encouragement, clapping for his recovery as his girlfriend gives an enthusiastic fist pump.

“These guys in the hospital are unbelievable. This walkthrough of love, it’s just amazing,” Garfield told the news station. “These doctors are the best of the best. I could not have survived anywhere else.”

Stephanie also expressed her utmost appreciation for the hospital for saving her brother's life. "I'm so thankful for this hospital," she told CBS Los Angeles. "They saved his life. Every person who has been in here to take care of him and who has talked to him and hold his hand because we couldn’t.”

Dr. Daniel Dea, who works at Providence Saint Joseph, said the hospital referred to Garfield as their "miracle patient."

"I believe there is a 70 percent or above mortality rate for COVID patients that go on a ventilator. So for him to survive with a near full recovery is amazing," he said.

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