Orange County COVID: One of Mission Hospital’s first severe COVID patients looks back on survival journey a year later


MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) — Ladera Ranch resident Brian Patnoe received an opportunity to reunite with Mission Hospital medical workers – practically a yr after he grew to become one among their first extreme COVID sufferers.

“It is emotional. Mission Hospital saved my life. The docs, the nurses, the workers. And it is onerous to consider it with out getting a little bit bit emotional. I am very blessed,” stated Patnoe.

As he walked by the identical ICU one yr later, he seemed again on when he was admitted on his birthday, March 17. He spent 30 days there – 18 of these days have been on a ventilator.

“I simply prayed for the docs to have the information and the knowledge to save lots of me,” he stated.

He remembers the ups and downs, together with the day he was greeted by a nurse when he got here out of a drug-induced coma.

“It is onerous to not get emotional interested by it,” he stated as he began to get choked up. “So she FaceTimes my spouse, and the youngsters are excited, however then inside only a couple hours, I had solely a two-minute FaceTime, however inside a pair hours, I used to be again in respiratory failure.”

Again then, it was so new, docs did not have sufficient data to know deal with COVID.

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“We have been going off of what New York was doing, what information got here out of China, what information was popping out of Europe,” stated Dr. Daniel Ponticiello, a essential care physician at Mission Hospital.

Whereas the early days of COVID have been hectic, Dr. Ponticiello says the worst months of his profession have been in December and January.

“We grew out of two intensive care models to 6 intensive care models. We went from being a 46-bed intensive care unit to having over 100 intensive care unit beds,” he stated.

However plenty of good has come out of the previous yr – together with Patnoe’s survival story – one which impressed the group to park beneath the hospital one evening to hope for him, different sufferers and the medical workers.

When he noticed the video, it introduced him to tears.

“Being a former Marine, it would not come straightforward proper? It was beautiful to see that. For me, it simply reveals me the facility of prayer, after all with the nice medical care as nicely,” stated Patnoe.

Ultimately, he was launched from the hospital’s rehab and remedy facility in Laguna Seaside. It was a heartwarming second when he lastly received to go residence to his household.

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Whereas Patnoe’s physique was therapeutic, his thoughts wasn’t – however he caught to the method, working with a speech therapist and neuro-psychiatrist. Seven months later, he was lastly in a position to return to work.

“Climbing Mt. Everest is off the bucket checklist, proper? However all issues thought-about, I am doing very nicely. I do have some well being points I am working by, I’ve received some lung scarring and another issues. I’ve needed to have a pair surgical procedures, post-COVID,” stated Patnoe.

It is an expertise that is modified his perspective on life.

“It makes you extra gracious, extra sort, extra caring, extra compassionate and simply extra grateful,” he stated.

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