Woman beats coronavirus after 41 days in the ICU, Florida hospital says

Photo by Parrish Medical Center

A woman has beaten COVID-19 after spending 41 days in the ICU at a Florida hospital.

Parrish Medical Center said that 62-year-old Joy Medeiros was visiting her hometown of Titusville to help care for her ailing sister. However, she ended up in the hospital for six weeks instead, fighting against coronavirus. 

They said that Medeiros spent 41 days in the hospital, 35 of which were on a ventilator. At one point, she even had to get a tracheostomy to enable her to breathe. She described COVID-19 as a "terrible thing. I’m grateful that I had great doctors, nurses – everyone – here caring for me. I’ve made new friends at PMC I’ll have for the rest of my life, which in many ways, I owe to them.”

Medeiros' husband Christ brought her to Parrish Medical Center on April 2 after she started to experience coughing, difficulty breathing, and a high fever. They said that she was "immediately placed in a room with negative airflow and then admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) where she was placed on a ventilator and underwent a complicated treatment course."

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About three weeks into Medeiros' stay, the medical center said that her breathing became so labored that tracheostomy -- which is when a small hole is cut into the neck and a small tube is inserted -- was done to help her breathe.

Dr. Ochoa said that "Joy was having a terribly difficult time. But she kept fighting, and her care team kept fighting with her.”


Photo by Parrish Medical Center

“Joy has beaten a disease that kills seven of 10 people on extended ventilator support, and she has shown near-complete recovery. Several times I thought she might well succumb to her illness," Dr. Dienst added. "Many care partners worked together relentlessly to get Joy better."

Joy’s condition improved with time and they said that she came off the ventilator completely on May 7. The tracheostomy was then removed on May 11. She has started working with therapy teams to regain her strength and movement.

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“I truly believe Joy survived because those of us treating her were directed by a Divine hand, a hand which we have come to trust and pray for when practicing medicine,” said Dr. Dienst.

She was released from the hospital on Wednesday and was reportedly given a celebratory send-off by her Parrish Medical Center care team and hospital care partners. At her request, Joy rode away from the hospital with 'Celebration' by Kool & The Gang playing.


Photo by Parrish Medical Center

“This is a wonderful day,” said George Mikitarian, PMC president and CEO. “The results of this great lady’s determination to live, coupled with the care our PMC team provided for her, has everyone smiling at what we’re calling our Conquering COVID-19 Celebration.”


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