Man placed in coma after contracting coronavirus finally released from hospital

PLANTATION, Fla. – A South Florida man who was placed in a medically induced coma in March after he contracted the novel coronavirus was released from Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation on Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed to Local 10 News.

Tim Ermatinger, 71, was admitted to the hospital’s ICU on March 23 after he began experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19.

“He was having more and more trouble breathing,” Nikki Ermatinger, said, explaining that doctors had tried a number of things to help her husband recover.

Related story: Some South Florida hospitals take part in Mayo Clinic’s Convalescent Plasma Program.

But when nothing seemed to be working, Nikki Ermatinger suggested a new experimental treatment, allowed by the FDA, in which a recovered patient’s plasma is used to treat someone still fighting the virus.

Nikki Ermatinger said the hospital initially turned away the idea, citing limitations on who can donate, and when, but they eventually decided to move forward with the treatment.

“I told them, I absolutely positively want them to try this plasma, and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen,” Nikki Ermatinger said.

“The ability to provide convalescent plasma as a treatment option depends on donor blood supply,” the hospital said in a statement last month. “We are pleased to partner with OneBlood Blood Donors to help increase the supply of plasma in area hospitals, so we can provide this treatment option for patients with COVID-19.”

Nikki Ermatinger thanked staff members at the hospital Thursday as she got ready to head home with her husband.

“Thank you, thank you everyone," she said. "Thank you so much for everything. We really, truly appreciate it and we will be back to show you that it paid off. Thank you so much.”

***Video courtesy of Westside Regional Medical Center***

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