Retired Queens nurse saved by doctors, nurses she once worked with at Mount Sinai
A retired Queens nurse battled the deadly coronavirus for more than a month at the very same hospital she spent decades helping patients.
And on Tuesday, she finally went home.
Theresa Francisco contracted COVID-19 and went to Mount Sinai on March 27. She retired in January after 38 years there as a nurse, and worked in the cardiac critical care unit.
“We had a big party for her in February and she went off into the sunset to enjoy her retirement,” said Dr. Umesh Gidwani, who runs the cardiac critical care unit at Mount Sinai, in a video released by the hospital. “She was an invaluable member of the staff.”
When it was determined she had the coronavirus, the unit where she had worked was dedicated to treating COVID patients.
As a result, she was placed in the care of the very same people she once worked beside.
Francisco’s fight with the coronavirus, which has infected more than 184,000 people in the city and killed more than 15,000, took its toll on her.
“She had a rough, rough ride with this disease,” Gidwani said.
Francisco was placed on a ventilator for nearly two weeks in April, and suffered kidney failure. However, despite the difficulties, she slowly recovered.
“Over these past weeks she has rallied to defeat this disease,” Gidwani said, noting that during her final days at Mount Sinai she was up and walking around.
“Which is remarkable,” he observed, “because after so many weeks of artificial support it’s very difficult for patients to be so mobile.”
“I thank God, I thank Dr. Gidwani and his staff, and all of the people that made me alive today,” Francisco said in the video.
“I can’t express how I feel after staying in the hospital not as a worker, (but) as a patient,” she said. “I’m more than excited to go home and sleep in my bed.”
Footage shared by Mount Sinai shows her stepping out of her room with a walker, as nurses, doctors and other staff cheer. She even at one point raises her arms in the air, a smile stretched across her face.
She’s also seen outside in a wheelchair, greeted by more cheering staff.
“I beat COVID-19 and I’m going home,” she declared.