COVID-19 patient with 1% chance to live goes home after 64-days in the hospital, 31 days on a ventilator

When 54-year-old Gregg Garfield traveled to Italy on a ski trip with friends in February, he had no idea he would become a Providence Saint Joseph Hospital's first coronavirus patient, nor that he would fight for his life there for more than two months straight.

He and the dozen friends with him on the trip ended up testing positive for the virus. Four of them had to be hospitalized, three were put on ventilators, but Garfield's case took an extreme turn. Despite his athleticism and good health, he ended up on a ventilator for 31 days. At one point, was only given a 1% chance of survival.

"He wasn't that bad when he came into the emergency room,"pulmonologist Dr. Daniel Dea told KABC-TV, "and within less than 48 hours, he wasn't breathing well. He was on maximum oxygen."


It's a good reminder that COVID-19 is unpredictable, and that for some people, a robust immune system ends up hurting more than helping. "The disease kicked off, and my immune system just ate me alive," Garfield told KCAL-TV.

Garfield's sister Stephanie offered some details of his terrifying journey on a GoFundMe page for him:

"On March 5, 2020 Gregg checked himself into St. Joseph's Providence Hospital Burbank with serious Covid-19 symptoms. He was the hospital's first Covid-19 patient, or "Patient Zero" as they call him. Two days later, under heavy sedation and paralytic drugs, the doctors intubated him- around day 10 doing a tracheostomy- and he continued to be on a ventilator for 31 days. During that time his body became septic; his kidneys failed and he was put on CRRT dialysis; his blood pressure plummeted and he needed medications to divert his blood-flow to his major organs for survival, leaving his hands and feet starving for circulation; he spiked fevers and was covered in ice; his lungs collapsed 4 times and chest tubes were inserted; and he developed secondary infections that are common in hospital environments. He had a 1% chance of surviving. The doctors and nursing staff had to always remain 3 steps ahead of any potential disasters because to enter his room took about 15 minutes for them to gear up in their hazmat attire. Gregg knocked on death's door, but said "F#$% NO! I'm not coming in!!!"

On Friday, Garfield finally got to leave the hospital and go home—to a rousing and heartwarming send-off from hospital staff:

"This is really emotional for me," Garfield told KCAL-TV. "I have a hard time receiving. I have received an outpour of unbelievable love. The only thing I really am focused on right now is telling the story about how real this is."

Garfield still has a long road ahead of him as his body learns to walk and breathe normally again. An update on the GoFundMe page describes the impact of being bedridden and ventilated for as long as he was: "The sustained lack of circulation to his extremities caused his fingers and toes to turn black, similar to a frostbite injury. This caused permanent damage and unfortunately once he is released from acute rehab, he will be looking at additional surgeries for amputation, prostheses and of course more physical/occupational therapy as he learns to navigate this new world."

However, Garfield is confident he will recover completely—which is the best gift he could give to the dedicated hospital staff who never gave up on him.

True

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday are teaming up to find the people who lead with love everyday.

Know someone in your neighborhood who's known for their optimistic attitude, commitment to bettering their community and always leading with love? Tell us about them for the chance to win a $2,000 grant to keep doing good in their community.

Nomination ends November 22, 2020

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic and it feels like disinformation and denial have spread as quickly as the virus itself. Unfortunately, disinformation and denial during a pandemic is deadly. Literally. People who refuse to accept the reality we're living in, who go about daily life as if nothing unusual were happening, who won't wear a mask or keep their distance from people, are preventing communities from being able to keep the pandemic under control—with very real consequences.

An ER nurse in South Dakota shared her experience treating COVID patients—some of whom refuse to believe they have COVID—and it's really shocking. One might think that the virus would become real to people if they were directly affected by it, but apparently that's just not true for some. As Jodi Doering wrote on Twitter:

"I have a night off from the hospital. As I'm on my couch with my dog I can't help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don't believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm. They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that 'stuff' because they don't have COViD because it's not real. Yes. This really happens. And I can't stop thinking about it. These people really think this isn't going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated. It's like a fucking horror movie that never ends. There's no credits that roll. You just go back and do it all over again."

Keep Reading Show less

Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


Keep Reading Show less