83-year-old discharged from hospital following months-long COVID-19 battle

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - An 83-year-old South Florida man has been discharged from the hospital after battling COVID-19 for almost three months.

Lorenzo Rodriguez could be seen leaving Homestead Hospital in a wheelchair, Tuesday.

“This is the biggest thing I have dealt with in my life,” he said through a translator. “This is tremendous. I’m very happy to be with my family and to finally see my grandkids. Let’s see where life takes me from this moment on.”

Due to Rodriguez’s age and preexisting conditions, he was placed in a medically induced coma and ventilator on April 2. His chances for survival were slim.

However, he soon began receiving plasma treatments that prolonged his life.

“It only took him one day to wake up and move his hands after that,” Esther Silva, his daughter, said. “Right now, I’m still looking to see if I can find out who my dad’s donor is. It’s a miracle. It’s beyond, really, what we had in mind, and we’re super excited after 75 days to take dad home, especially Father’s Day being on Sunday.”

After spending time in two separate medical facilities, doctors and nurses were overjoyed to see the 83-year-old head home.

“I want to thank Baptist Hospital and all the doctors who helped me out,” Rodriguez said. “I’m here alive again. I would like to send out a message to the people out there. Use your masks. It’s the least we could do when we are around other people.”

“It’s also a reason why we do what we do,” Tania DeMay, an occupational therapist, said. “It’s our calling. We thrive on patients like him. This is what makes our job so special, and this is what gives meaning to our lives.”

The family will celebrate Rodriguez’s release from the hospital during Father’s Day, and he will celebrate his 84th birthday on Aug. 10.

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