It's #ThankYouThursday and today we would like to pay tribute to a very deserving healthcare worker. Meet Dr. John, a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
He tested positive for COVID-19 in March, when his state was beginning to experience a surge in cases. At that time, testing turnover was delayed, treatment was unclear, and PPE was not easily or readily available. He likely contracted the virus at his hospital during an intubation procedure for a surgery patient. For about two weeks, Dr. John experienced relentless fevers, dehydration, sweating, chills, and shaking. His wife was in her second trimester with their first daughter (now newborn). In Dr. John's words, “tension and risks were high while I was quarantining at home and preventing the spread of the virus through the household. My wife did a wonderful job protecting herself, our baby, and me through this tough time.”
Thankfully, Dr. John eventually recovered and immediately went back to work, as the numbers in his area were some of the worst in the country. He described the scene at the hospital as "something we have never experienced before and could not have possibly prepared enough for.” Though PPE became more readily available, wearing tight N95 masks for entire shifts caused fatigue, headaches, discomfort, and additional stress for many healthcare workers throughout the long work days. Dr. John praised his coworkers and hospital staff as vital during this pandemic, and is grateful that they continue to do their part as COVID-19 is still present and a threat to the world. Later on, he took a test which revealed he had IgG immunity, or long-term antibodies, so he donated his blood (plasma) to help patients fight off the disease. Thank you to Dr. John for your incredible contributions and for sharing your inspiring story. Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your beautiful daughter!