Centura Health Celebrates 500th Discharge of COVID-19 Patient

May 15, 2020

There are many difficult numbers associated with COVID-19, but here is a really good one from Centura Health. On May 15, Centura – St. Anthony North Health Campus discharged the 500th COVID-19 patient cared for as an inpatient within one of the 17 hospitals across our health system. Hospital associates cheered on José Diaz, 42, as he exited the hospital today to begin the next chapter in his recovery after a 40-day stay in St. Anthony North’s ICU. Several weeks ago, Diaz marked his 42nd birthday on life support without even knowing it was his birthday.

Diaz received a sendoff fitting of a prize-winning fighter from Centura – St. Anthony North Health Campus. Diaz was admitted April 5 and was not expected to survive the disease and had personal Do Not Resuscitate orders. After being one of the first Centura Health patients to receive COVID-19 convalescent plasma, Jose began to turn a corner and is now expected to make a full recovery. Today, he moves on to a care facility where he is expected to take the final steps recovery before returning home. Diaz, who works at Denver International Airport, is a Commerce City resident and will be able to return to a fully-functioning lifestyle after being cleared by physicians. This important milestone occurred just over two-and-a-half months since Centura Health admitted its first COVID-19 patient.

“I am just thankful for this hospital; the people here have saved my life. If it wasn’t for the staff here, I wouldn’t have survived. Against all odds I’m here,” said Diaz.

To mark the 500th discharge, Centura – St. Anthony North provided a special Centura Health blanket and caregivers lined the hallways holding signs, playing music and honoring Diaz.

“Nothing gives us more joy than to see the recovery of a patient with this difficult and isolating disease,” stated Dr. Shauna Gulley, Chief Clinical Officer for Centura Health. “Many of these patient discharges occur after weeks in the ICU, many patients using ventilators, it is a powerful reflection of the lifesaving care being provided by our doctors, nurses and other caregivers across Colorado, Utah and western Kansas."