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Discharged After 74 Days: 44-Year-Old NYC Sanitation Worker Beats COVID-19

June 3, 2020
Jerome Smith Being Discharged from St. Joseph Hospital

NYC Sanitation worker and Copiague resident Jerome Smith, 44, was one of the first COVID-19 positive patients to be admitted to St. Joseph Hospital (March 21) at the height of the pandemic. He was experiencing shortness of breath, a cough, a sore throat and fatigue.

Jerome Smith's Wife and six kids

On June 2, 74 days later, Jerome was finally able to leave the hospital and physically see his wife, their six kids, family and friends for the first time in months (since visitors were/are not permitted during this time). 

During Jerome’s stay at St. Joe's he was intubated twice, suffered kidney failure, received a tracheostomy, a PEG (Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) and dialysis as result of the kidney failure. Today, while still recovering and still on dialysis, Jerome is alert and can breathe and eat on his own. He was transported to a specialty rehab facility by Hunter Ambulance where he will continue to recover ­­­and gain his strength.

Dr. Jeremy Lawrence, an internist who cared for Jerome said, “Jerome was very ill and has been through a lot. The staff and I have emotionally been invested in seeing him do well and and we are so thrilled to see him make such a great recovery.”

Jerome Smith with St. Joseph Hospital Staff

Dr. Jerry Ipe, a pulmonologist who cared for Jerome said, "Jerome’s course in the hospital was very tumultuous. He was one of our sickest patients. However; after many weeks we were able to get him to breathe on his own. It was truly a team effort and the determination of the staff, and Jerome, was the driving force.”

Melissa Marcolini, a St. Joe's speech pathologists said, "Jerome's recovery is a miracle. I am honored to have been part of the medical team that saved his life and bring him back to his wife and six children --- just in time for Father's Day."

Beth Grudman, also a speech pathologist at St. Joe’s said, “To see Jerome make such a miraculous recovery, and to be part of the team that helped get him there warms my heart. Jerome is an inspiration to all of us and we will miss him.”