Hospital staff cheers as first intubated COVID-19 patient leaves ICU

Hospital staff cheers as first intubated COVID-19 patient leaves ICU
EAMC employees cheered as Tony Thornton was wheeled out of the ICU Tuesday. (Source: EAMC)

OPELIKA, Ala. (WSFA) - Good news out of the East Alabama Medical Center!

EAMC posted on Facebook that 48-year-old Tony Thornton became the first COVID-19 patient at the hospital to recover well enough to be removed from ventilation and moved from the ICU to a regular medical room.

The post says Thornton, an Auburn resident, was admitted to EAMC on March 20 and was the first COVID-19 patient to be put on a ventilator. He was removed from his ventilator on Sunday.

EAMC employees cheered as Thornton was wheeled out of the ICU Tuesday.

First Intubated COVID-19 Patient Moves Out of ICU | East Alabama Medical Center

A celebration took place at EAMC today. That’s when 48-year-old Tony Thornton became the first COVID-19 patient at EAMC to recover well enough to be removed from ventilation and moved from the ICU to a regular medical room. Thornton, who lives in Auburn, was admitted to EAMC on March 20 and intubated (put on a ventilator). He was extubated (removed from his ventilator) on Sunday (April 5), and when he was wheeled out of the ICU today, EAMC employees were there to cheer him on. Late this afternoon, he said “I am still weak, but feeling pretty good. I talked to my wife for the first time and that was wonderful.” His advice for the public? “People need to follow the guidelines. This is a big deal.” In addition to Mr. Thornton being able to move out of ICU, 29 other hospitalized COVID-19 patients have been discharged home from EAMC.

Posted by East Alabama Medical Center on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

EAMC said 29 other hospitalized COVID-19 patients have been discharged home.

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