WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - Healthcare workers lined the hallway to cheer on a Pasco County woman as she was finally allowed to go home after being in the intensive care unit for days battling the novel coronavirus.
Doctors and nurses at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel captured the moment Tamashri Maharana was wheeled out of the hospital Wednesday night, wishing her luck and giving her a hero’s send-off.
“She was very happy and she was crying in joy when she left,” said Dr. Monica Bueso, a pulmonologist who treated Maharana, who spent a week in the hospital, most of that time in ICU.
“The way she was breathing, her rapid respiratory rate, requiring oxygen, were things that alarmed me,” said Bueso.
She said Maharana arrived with an asthma attack and dry cough, but they quickly realized it was more. Maharana ended up on a ventilator, but neither she nor her doctors gave up.
“We were always encouraging her that she was doing a great job, that she was getting better, that she was making baby steps the right way,” said Bueso. “So the day she left, she told me I’m scared to go home. And I told her don’t be scared because we’ve been watching you and making sure that you don’t do bad at home.”
Doctors know COVID-19 patients can take a turn for the worse so the moment Maharana was released meant a lot.
“We’ve had unsuccessful treatments, so we were all very hopeful that she was going to turn around,” said Bueso. “Definitely it was very overwhelming and satisfying and so emotional to see her go out alive and see her doing well.”
Those are the kind of results they want for every patient.
“She is a positive reinforcement that we can do this, and we can fight it with the right tools,” Bueso said.
Maharana wasn't feeling well enough to talk to FOX 13 Thursday for an interview. She was still coughing and focusing on her recovery with the help of her family and support of her doctors.
Bueso said it’s up to everyone to be vigilant about their health.
“If you’re having fever, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, make sure you seek medical help early rather than later,” said Bueso. “I think we’re all heroes and I think we all can do our part to beat this virus by helping.”
The state of Florida is not tracking the total number of recovered coronavirus patients, largely because there is no consensus on what "recovered" really means.
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