Dad hugs daughters for first time in months after surviving COVID-19
March 24, 2021 was hug day for 39-year-old Alfredo Hercules. After 72 days at Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre, Alfredo was finally discharged and able to hug his two daughters (9 year-old Isabel and 7 year-old Safiah) for the first time since January 2nd (when he tested positive for COVID-19). That’s 84 days.
By all accounts, Alfredo, of Hewlett, NY, was a healthy 39-year-old dad prior to contracting COVID-19 but on January 3rd he started having flu-like symptoms. After a week of feeling ill his wife Jamila insisted he go to the hospital and on January 11th Alfredo was admitted to Mercy Hospital and diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia.
While Alfredo was able to go home, he is still recovering as he is hypoxic (oxygen deficient) and he was sent home with an oxygen tank. Alfredo does not know where he contracted the virus.
During his time at Mercy, Alfredo was cared for by staff from so many departments, including critical care, inpatient rehab, acute care, respiratory, emergency and more.
Dr. Perry Stein, director physical medicine and rehabilitation, was one of many doctors who cared for Alfredo. He said, “Alfredo was in bad shape when he came to us. When you have COVID-19 and it affects your breathing it can be torture but Alfredo pushed himself every single day. He showed incredible perseverance and resilience and I give him full credit for pushing himself to this point.”
While the staff at Mercy will miss Alfredo, they were are all very excited to celebrate his discharge with a celebratory send off.