By Richard Kaufman
The sounds of cheers and applause echoed along Perryridge Road in front of Greenwich Hospital on Monday afternoon, as Yale New Haven Health celebrated the release of its 2,500th recovered COVID-19 patient.
Gabriel Cid, 44, a Greenwich resident, exited the hospital’s main entrance to a thunderous roar from hospital staff. He was admitted to Greenwich Hospital on April 12, spent 30 days in the Intensive Care Unit, and 21 days on a ventilator.
“The fact that about a month ago, I went into the Emergency Room door and today I come out the front door is a testament to the love and support that every nurse and doctor here has for patients. They never stopped fighting for me, and I never stopped fighting for my family,” Cid said.
Cid’s family looked on as he emerged from the main entrance in a wheelchair, and rushed towards him with tears in their eyes, reunited after weeks apart. They were decked out in New York Mets gear, Cid’s favorite team.
“This has been the most trying month of our lives. We were so close to losing our father, and all odds were against him. It’s a miracle,” said Cid’s daughter, Ana. “There were days where we got some bad news, there were days it was better; we didn’t know for the longest time. We’re happy he made it, and he defeated the odds. It’s a very humbling situation. No day is going to be taken for granted ever again with my father.”
Dr. Michael Franco, the Medical Director for the ICU at Greenwich Hospital, said Monday was “a very good day” for everyone.
“All of these patients are miracle stories when they come off [ventilators],” Franco said. “Unfortunately, a lot of patients get so ill that they’re on a ventilator in the ICU and they don’t make it. So a patient like this is always heartwarming and reinforcing for us.”
Ann Marie McGory, Executive Director for Critical Care Services, said it was stirring to see Cid’s progress.
“With COVID-19, the disease doesn’t always progress the way we’d like it to. He’s one of our champions and he did very well,” she said.
McGory said that the hospital has teams put together who are in constant communication with families of those who are hospitalized, in order to keep them up to date and informed of what’s going on. Because no outside visitors are allowed, nurses often use Zoom or FaceTime for loved ones. McGory said it’s “heartbreaking” to see patients separated from their families.
But Cid will soon be reunited for good with his three daughters, Ana, Elizabeth and Alexandra, and his wife, Consuelo, after completing rehab, hopefully within the next two weeks.
It wouldn’t be possible without the care and support of Greenwich Hospital, and Cid’s fighting spirit.
“The work they do is tremendous. They’re angels,” Cid said of those that took care of him. “There’s no way I can repay them for the life they gave me back.”
Be sure to check out this Friday’s Greenwich Sentinel for more photos and an expanded story