PARMA, Ohio — It’s a day worth celebrating for one Parma man.
74-year-old Jerry Gustin was discharged from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center on Wednesday morning after spending nearly two months recovering from COVID-19 – including 23 days in the intensive care unit.
He came out in a wheelchair to loud applause from caregivers and family members with his arms stretched to the sky. He was wearing a T-shirt that declared: "2020 pandemic survivor. We battled. I won."
After 57 days he was finally reunited with his loved ones while expressing deep gratitude for the hospital staff who helped him.
“Everybody worked together," he said. "They were beautiful. I’ve never had such good care.”
Gustin was quickly embraced by family members once outside who gave him a sign that said: "COVID-19 warrior. You did it!!!"
He proudly showed off the sign while enjoying sunshine for the first time in weeks.
"You look great, dad, and the sun is shining just for you," one of his family members declared.
He also took a moment to ask all Ohioans to continue following the suggested coronavirus safety precautions.
“Wear the masks," he said. "Stay six feet away. If you do it, we can all survive this thing together. We can be a better world. Just do what the governor asks, and be patient.”
We streamed the moment he was discharged, which you can watch in full below:
“Only approximately 40 percent of vented patients, according to national statistics, ever leave the hospital after having COVID-19,” UH officials said in a press release. “This man is proud of his accomplishment, after 23 days in the ICU, a stint at Regency Hospital and returning to regain strength with intensive rehabilitation in our Acute Rehabilitation Unit, which strengthens him to function in his activities of daily living so he can return home safely.”
Welcome home, Jerry.
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