87-year-old Sunset Park woman becomes 850th COVID-19 patient to be discharged by NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, home in time for Mother’s Day

May 8, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
87-year-old Sunset Park woman becomes 850th COVID-19 patient to be discharged by NYU Langone Hospital - Brooklyn, home in time for Mother’s Day
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Back home and just in time for Mother’s Day.

On Thursday, May 7, 87-year-old Maria Rodriquez became the 850th COVID-19 patient discharged home by NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn.

The longtime Sunset Park resident was sent off in a wheelchair through the hospital lobby and was cheered on by her family and several of NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn personnel.

Rodriguez’s daughter, grandson, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren were there to bring her home.

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyb
Maria Rodriguez is discharged to a celebratory crowd at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn.

Once outside, Rodriguez addressed the staff and her family with the help of a translator, describing herself as ‘vibrant and alive.’

“I love myself,” she said. “You all make me feel like everyone loves me as well.”

Rodriguez later added, “This hospital saved my life. I’m so grateful and I hope that my story gives others hope.”

Her grandson Octavio Vargas, Jr. is a housekeeper at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn and was thrilled to have her go home.

“I feel happy and overwhelmed,” he said. “(There are) no words to describe how appreciative I am with the doctors and nurses for sending her home and doing the jobs that they do. She’s a great person and a great provider for us and now it’s our turn to provide for her.”

He later stated the importance of the timing of the discharge.

“This is a great day for our family and our community in Brooklyn,” he said. “We are so glad to have her home in time for Mother’s Day this weekend.”

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn staff were just as happy.

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn.

“This moment, I feel optimistic,” said Chief of Medicine Frank Volpicelli. “850 discharges is an incredible feeling. Getting our patients home. Getting them back to their loved ones. Making sure that we’ve stayed in contact with them throughout their hospital stay has been a challenge and our team has risen up to that.”

Kathleen Monahan, a staff nurse in the COVID-19 Unit, agreed.

“COVID-19 has strengthened an already unified institution so we put our hearts in everything. It’s just an exciting day,” she said. 

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn.

“The care that these patients have received is definitely an all-in situation from doctors and nurses and housekeepers to the dietary staff to the pharmacists,” added Vice President of Nursing and Perioperative Service Jose Hernandez, MS, RN. “Everyone has stepped up in such an amazing way to take care of these patients as a community.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a monumental challenge for everyone in health care,” Volpicelli said. “This recovery is just one example of how our team rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to help 850 people — and counting — recover from this severe illness and return home to their families. This is a proud moment for all of the heroes who work here.”

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn.

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