Healthcare worker recovers from coronavirus with help of stem cells

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida healthcare worker has battled back from coronavirus, and stem cells were key to her recovery.

Ruth Ramirez, a single mother of two, was released from the hospital to chants of “Ruthie! Ruthie!”

She received the treatment after doctors pushed the FDA to approve the treatment for her.

Ramirez works at Baptist Health South Florida hospital, and said of her co-workers, “They’re the reasons why I’m here.”

“These are treatments that weren’t even approved yet, but they went ahead and made sure to try to see to anything to try to save my life, and that’s exactly what they did,” Ramirez said.

Doctors at Baptist Health South Florida teamed up RESTEM, a bio-technology company, to treat four coronavirus patients through intravenous infusions.

Dr. Guenther Koehne of the Miami Cancer Institute said, “We got immediate approval, with the strong support of the FDA.”

Doctors are already seeing positive results.

Ramirez was on a ventilator and sedated when her sister decided to give her the experimental treatment.

Cristina Ramirez, Ruth’s sister, said, “It was a scary decision. You never know what to expect. If you have a family member that’s going through this, put your faith to work.”

Christina was one of many embraces Ruth shared in her first moments out of the hospital.

“I can’t live without her. She’s my partner in crime, so when I saw her, I said, ‘Thank God,'” Cristina said.

Ruth said, “Next is just physical therapy and mentally getting prepared to get back to work.”

Ramirez said, “These doctors that you worked day-to-day with, with 10,000 responsibilities on top of them, thought about me.”

Doctors said another patient that has been treated with stem cells is beginning to improve, as well.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Ramirez family, which you can donate to here.

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