(Media release from Atrium Health Floyd):

Cecilio Cervantes is glad to be back at his Cedartown home after spending 115 days at Floyd Medical Center. The 44-year-old was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in September, spent weeks on a ventilator, but was recently discharged.

He said he is grateful for the care he received at the hospital, and said all the caregivers were compassionate during his ordeal. He said the hospital even went the extra mile to help clear up some insurance issues he had.

“Everyone was super nice,” Cervantes said. “They were just so patient and understanding.”

Cervantes said he is still weak, and walking is still an effort. He is thankful for the attention he received from the rehabilitation staff at Floyd, although the work was difficult. He said one of the hardest things he had to do was climb stairs during the rehabilitation process to build up his strength.

“That was very tough,” he said. “The first time I tried I couldn’t do it, but I think the second time I made it all the way up.” Physical Therapist Carolyn Rusiecki said Cervantes never complained about his sessions.

“I was impressed with his dedication and willingness to participate,” Rusiecki said. “Not all patients react in the same way. Sometimes therapy is not comfortable, but he really accepted the challenge.”

Cervantes’ girlfriend, Margoth Reyes, chronicled his stay, keeping track of milestones, good and bad. She said it was hard not to be able to be in the room with him while he was sick. Because he was often sedated, even the use of a cellphone or tablet to communicate was not often possible. She said the nurses were determined to keep her updated on his progress.

“They were just so sweet to me,” Reyes said. “They would say ‘You can call us anytime and we will tell you how he is doing.’” She said the nurses would always say “We are here for you.”

She remembers finally being able to wear personal protective equipment so she could stand by his door and actually see him. Reyes said the experience for her may have been easier to process since she is a medical assistant.