First responders and hospital employees gathered to celebrate the release of Coney Island Hospital’s 500th COVID-19 patient on April 28.
The event marked a milestone for the city-run hospital, which has seen a dramatic influx of patients since the beginning of the pandemic.
“From the first patient with COVID-19 who came through our doors until today’s 500th discharge, our employees have provided exceptional care in the midst of an incredibly difficult situation,” said Svetlana Lipyanskaya, CEO of NYC Health+Hospitals/Coney Island.
The patient, Stuart Rosenhaus, is the hospital’s associate director of emergency management — which made the milestone that much more special for staff. Rosenhaus had been hospitalized since April 13 because of COVID-19, and is expected to complete his recovery at home.
“I am humbled and honored by the turnout today by staff and the FDNY,” he said upon his release. “I am grateful to all the staff who played a role in my recovery and the great care I received.”
Rosenhaus’ release wasn’t the first discharge the hospital celebrated. Whenever a COVID-19 patient is extubated from a ventilator, employees play Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” over the loudspeaker, and when patients are discharged, the hospital plays “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a spokeswoman said.
To mark the 500th release, dozens of first responders blared their sirens and benefactors donated food and protective gear to the hospital, Lipyanskaya said.
“From first responder salutes to an abundance of generous food and supply donations, today is a celebration not only for Coney Island Hospital, but for the entire south Brooklyn community,” said Lipyanskaya. “We wish Stu and all of our patients well, and hope that we continue to reunite more families with their loved ones.”
As of April 30, 41,648 New York City residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to city data. An estimated 12,571 have died from the virus, on top of at least 5,000 more probable novel coronavirus-related deaths.