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Patient Credits Kaiser Permanente-Downey Doctors, Nurses & Staff After Two Weeks on a Ventilator Due to COVID-19

Raul Marin recovering at his home after three weeks at Kaiser Permanente-Downey which included a long stint on a ventilator.

 

STAFF REPORT

“The hardest part about being in the hospital for three weeks is that my family isn’t able to visit me,” Raul Marin said from his hospital bed.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the state of California requires hospitals to restrict visitors to help reduce the spread of the disease. Marin, who had a cough and a fever that wouldn’t go away, was being treated for COVID-19 at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. “When I first found out I was positive [for COVID-19], I was really scared. I wasn’t the healthiest person at the time, and I knew it wasn’t just a regular flu,” Marin said. “I told my mom, ‘I am going to the hospital and we’ll see what happens. I told her to keep me in her prayers.’”

Since his early symptoms wouldn’t go away, back in March, Marin called the Kaiser Permanente Advice Nurse phone line and was instructed to go to the Emergency Room where he was tested. At the time, test results took a few days to come back and he was sent home to rest and await results. He had to return to the Emergency Room the next day because he was experiencing shortness of breath. He was put on oxygen for a couple hours and when he wasn’t producing enough oxygen on his own, he was told they are going to admit him to the intensive care unit (ICU) and put him on a ventilator.

“Being told I was going to be put on a ventilator was really scary,” Marin said. “But the doctors did not give up on me. They made me feel like I could beat this.”

While he was in the ICU, his care team was nothing but hopeful. When asked what’s been most helpful to help get him through this, Marin doesn’t hesitate, “I appreciate everything Kaiser Permanente has done. Everyone has been great—from the lab techs, to the nurses, to the security guards. Everyone pitched in to put me back into one piece”

 

Marin participates in a video chat with his family after being extubated.

 

Marin formed some bonds with a few nurses in particular and credits them with helping him to recover. “I discovered one nurse [Chris Moreno, RN] shares the same faith as me. He offered to pray for me,” Marin recounts. “When he prayed for me, he told me, ‘This is just like climbing a mountain, you have to take it one step at a time, you can’t jump.’ It was one of the most amazing moments.”

He credits another nurse, William “Willy” Spencer, RN, for being an integral part of his care team. “Nurse Willy is a great guy and a great nurse, if I could give him an award, I would,” Marin said. “He was one of the nurses who cared for me the first couple nights when I was really struggling to breathe. He went and got the doctor who put everything in motion to get me on the ventilator.”

After being taken off the ventilator last week, the doctor who cared for Marin in the ICU, helped set up a video chat so Marin could see his family. “It was great to see my fiancé and my kids. I missed them a lot. I told them ‘I’m still fighting.’” Marin, who says he usually boasts a very clean-cut, clean shaven look adds with a laugh, “When I video chatted with my family, it was surprised to see myself—it was the first time I saw myself with a beard!”

Mr. Marin is now home and clean-shaven once again, still taking it one step at a time and is grateful for the physicians and staff at Kaiser Permanente Downey who were there for him and helped him get better. “I am looking forward to getting back to some type of normalcy,” he said before adding, “As I left the ICU, the nurses joked with me saying, ‘Don’t come back here!’ I told them, ‘If I do come back it’ll be with my fiancé and my kids to tell everybody thank you.’”

 

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One Response to Patient Credits Kaiser Permanente-Downey Doctors, Nurses & Staff After Two Weeks on a Ventilator Due to COVID-19

  1. Lake Shasta Reply

    May 6, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Near future, bet world will have a dedicated Covid19 Holiday.

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