VINELAND — Miguel Veragallardo, 50, of Cedarville in Lawrence Township, beat the odds by beating the novel coronavirus after more than three weeks on a ventilator in Inspira Medical Center’s intensive care unit.

Veragallardo was one of the first patients admitted to Inspira for treatment of COVID-19. He spent 33 days in the hospital, most of it in the ICU, according to a hospital news release.

For a patient to spend more than three weeks on a ventilator and then be discharged was true cause for celebration, a hospital spokesman said.

Some studies have shown 70% to 80% of people put on ventilators for COVID-19 do not survive.

Earlier this week, Vergallardo was united with his daughter and son for the first time in a month, as he was wheeled out of the hospital to cheers from staff. His family could not see him, since no visitation is allowed during the pandemic.

“I feel very grateful for all of the staff,” the hospital quoted Veragallardo as telling his nurse the day before his discharge. “The doctors and nurses took good care of me, and I appreciate it.”

“He inspired us,” said nurse Michele Zucconi, administrative director of critical care for Inspira Medical Centers Vineland and Elmer. “His successful recovery motivated our critical care team, who continues to demonstrate extraordinary efforts as we work together to provide care for our patients, family and community. We are so happy for him and his family.”

The former patient recommended people take good care of themselves, follow the advice of health professionals and keep informed about COVID-19 through the news media.

Elizabeth Sheridan, Inspira chief operating officer, said she is proud of the staff’s dedication.

“We urge everyone in our community to wash their hands frequently, wear a face covering if you must go out, maintain social distancing, and please contact your doctor if you don’t feel well,” Sheridan said.

— Michelle Brunetti Post

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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