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At 83, he beat COVID-19 and is coming home after 75 days hospitalized

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – His sign read “I crushed COVID” — and 83-year-old Lorenzo Rodriguez certainly did.

Rodriguez beat the odds and survived the virus. Seeing him today, it’s almost hard to believe he was in a medically induced coma just a few weeks ago.

But now, after 75 days of fighting COVID-19 in the hospital, he was finally allowed to go home.

“This is tremendous. Very tremendous,” Rodriguez said in Spanish.

And when you hear just how sick he was, you understand why.

His daughter Esther Silva says he was taken to Baptist Hospital on April 2, and the next day he was placed into an induced coma and put on a ventilator.

“We got news from the doctors that he didn’t have much days [to live],” Silva said.

In fact, she says they were warned twice that Rodriguez likely wasn’t going to make it.

As his condition continued to deteriorate, the family asked the doctors if Rodriguez would be able to receive a blood plasma treatment. He got that just two days later, and his daughter says they credit that with turning things around.

“It only took him one day to wake up and move his hands after that,” she said.

Soon after, Rodriguez was brought to Baptist’s Homestead hospital, where he began his road back to health.

His care team says his recovery is truly amazing.

“He was not going to let this virus tear him down, and it was a pleasure working with him, an individual who only wanted to get stronger and go back to his family,” said Tania Desme, an occupational therapist at Baptist. “We thrive on patients like him. This is what makes our job so special and this is what gives meaning to our lives.”

Rodriguez’s family stressed that everyone needs to take this virus seriously — because they experienced firsthand just how horrible it can be.

“Its a miracle its beyond what we really had in mind [to have him coming home],” Silva said. “Especially Father’s Day being on Sunday, it is the best gift we could ever have gotten.”


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