Karson is only eight years old, but he has spent more time with doctors, in ambulances, and inside hospital walls than most adults will in a lifetime. In a relatively short time, two Inspira emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on Karson’s care team, Brittany Conrad and Brian Cassidy, have also become much more to him, his dad, Freddy, and his five siblings.
"Happy!" That’s how Miguel Veragallardo summed up his feelings after learning he would soon be discharged from the hospital. The 50-year-old resident of Cedarville was one of the first patients admitted to Inspira Medical Center Vineland for treatment of COVID-19. In total, he spent 33 days in the hospital, nearly four weeks of which were in the ICU.
As he was wheeled out the main entrance of the hospital earlier this week, he was embraced by his daughter and son while more than a dozen members of his care team clapped and smiled. The tearful reunion had been a long time coming. The state-wide ban on hospital visitors meant his loved ones had not seen him for more than a month. Despite the physical separation, his family remained a source of strength. Veragallardo spoke to them frequently, when his condition allowed. In the days leading up to his discharge, he thought about the big hugs he wanted to give them.
For a patient to spend more than three weeks on a ventilator and then be discharged to home was true cause for celebration. Veragallardo felt well taken care of by his care team, who were inspired by his recovery.
"I feel very grateful for all of the staff," Veragallardo told his nurse, the day before he was discharged. “The doctors and nurses took good care of me and I appreciate it.”
"He inspired us," said Michele Zucconi, R.N., M.S.N., C.C.R.N., 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 also has a message for his community. He recommends they take good care of themselves, follow the precautions and keep
informed by watching the news about COVID-19.
“I am so proud of our staff and the entire INSPIRA team during these unprecedented times, added Elizabeth Sheridan, chief operating officer, Inspira Medical Centers Elmer and Vineland. “They are dedicated to the well-being of every patient and the health of our community.”
“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 added.
About Inspira Health
Inspira Health is a charitable nonprofit health care organization and a regional leader in physician training, with approximately 160 medical residents and fellows in nine nationally accredited specialty programs. The system, which traces its roots to 1899, comprises three hospitals, two comprehensive cancer centers, several multi-specialty health centers and a total of more than 150 access points. These include urgent care; outpatient imaging and rehabilitation; sleep medicine labs; cardiac testing facilities; digestive health and wound care centers; home care and hospice; and more than 30 primary and specialty physician practices in Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Camden and Atlantic counties.
Together with its medical staff of more than 1,300 physicians and other care providers, as well as more than 6,000 employees, Inspira Health provides evidence-based care to help each patient achieve the best possible outcome. Accredited by DNV Healthcare, the system’s clinical and support staffs are focused on providing quality care in a safe environment. For more information about Inspira Health, visit www.InspiraHealthNetwork.org or call 1-800-INSPIRA.