70-year-old beats coronavirus after 45-day stay in hospital

By ABC News

(FRESNO, Calif.) — A 70-year-old man from California who spent 45 days in the hospital fighting the coronavirus was discharged on Tuesday to cheers and applause.

“I’m grateful to be alive,” Ronald Hill told Fresno ABC station KFSN-TV.

Hill was admitted into Kaiser Permanente on March 28, two days after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. His symptoms included a sore throat and cough, according to family members.

Soon after his hospital stay began, Hill developed a bacterial infection, his condition took a turn for the worse and he was placed in the intensive care unit.

“With the severity of his symptoms, he had to be paralyzed to be able to let his lungs recover from the infection,” Dr. Robert Ferdman, of the Fresno Medical Center, told KFSN. “In the ICU, he developed a stroke as well.”

Ferdman said they slowly began to see improvements in Hill’s condition with a combination of antibiotics and other treatments. Eventually, doctors removed his tracheal tube and Hill began eating and sitting up on his own again.

“To see how he looked today, it was a miracle,” Hill’s brother, John Hill, said on Tuesday.

As Ronald Hill left the hospital Tuesday he embraced his wife amid signs with heartwarming messages like, “We are proud of you,” and, “You are brave.”

He also offered some advice to others.

“If you haven’t been checked out, go get checked out,” he said.

Before Hill can go home, he will undergo rehab to strengthen his legs.

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