COVID-19 Survivor Returns to Meet Hospital Staff That Saved Her Life

Ocoee, FL (October 12, 2021) – Today physicians and team members at Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital staged an intimate reunion ceremony for a COVID-19 survivor who spent 40 days in the hospital’s critical care unit. Maureen Woods, 56, returned to the very same patient room to thank the joyous team of healthcare workers who played such vital roles in saving her life.

On July 24th, Woods was admitted to the hospital for painful kidney stones when she tested positive for COVID-19.  Her condition rapidly declined. She developed pneumonia, a blood infection, a collapsed lower lung, and her body went into total organ failure as she lapsed into a coma for nearly three weeks.

Due to being critically ill throughout much of her hospital stay, she feels she never got a chance to properly know the team who took care of both her and her husband throughout her medical crisis. “I don’t remember them, so I can’t wait to meet them,” said Woods, whose husband told her of the conversation with Joel Santora, MD, who promised to do all that he could to give her the best chance of recovering. “I wanted to meet the man who saved my life.”

“It’s an awesome feeling to not only see, but to talk to Maureen and see the progress she’s made since she was a patient on our unit,” said Dr. Joel Santora, medical director of Critical Care Medicine, Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital. “Most times after patients are discharged, our team doesn’t receive any further updates on their condition or how they’re recovering. For her to come back to visit us and say thank you means the world to our team.”

After 40 days at Orlando Health – Health Central, Woods was transferred to an Orlando Health inpatient rehab unit before being discharged to return home on September 14th, spending 52 days as a hospital patient.