Gregg Garfield, the first COVID-19 patient of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, returned to the hospital on Monday, May 8, 2020, to celebrate Hospital/Nurses Week and express his gratitude to the hospital staff who helped him survive the deadly virus.
Garfield, who contracted the virus during a ski trip to Northern Italy in February 2020, was in critical condition when he was admitted to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center on March 5. Doctors gave him a 1% chance of survival as the virus attacked his major organs, but he pulled through after a harrowing 64-day hospital stay.
On his discharge day, hundreds of family, friends, and hospital workers cheered as Garfield left the hospital, having shifted from Patient Zero to a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of the pandemic.
Three years after his discharge, Garfield returned to the hospital to meet with hospital leaders and members of his care team and celebrate Hospital Week by passing out doughnuts to employees during the early morning shift change.
In addition to passing out doughnuts to hospital employees, Gregg Garfield took a tour of his original ICU room, where he spent 64 days fighting for his life against COVID-19. He expressed his gratitude to the doctors and nurses who cared for him during his stay and marveled at how much had changed since he was last there.
Garfield also made a special visit to the Emergency Room to thank the staff for their tireless efforts in saving lives during the pandemic. He said he was moved by the dedication and compassion he witnessed firsthand and praised the staff for their commitment to providing top-notch care to patients in their most vulnerable moments.
Garfield’s story has inspired many across the country to take the virus seriously and take steps to prevent its spread. He has been vocal in urging the public to take precautions and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.
In a statement, Garfield said, “I am forever grateful to the staff at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center who fought for my life and helped me make a full recovery. It’s an honor to be back here today to celebrate Hospital Week and show my appreciation for the hardworking staff who continue to fight this pandemic on the frontlines.”
Garfield’s continuing recovery can be followed on his website at https://www.gregggarfield.com/.