When Jeff Gerson was admitted to NYU Langone Health on March 18, 2020, with a fever, relentless cough, and shortness of breath, he couldn’t have anticipated it would take a team of more than 165 medical professionals to save his life.
He was one of the first patients at NYU Langone with COVID-19 to be intubated and put on a mechanical support system, called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO.
Gerson, an otherwise healthy 44 year old at the time, doesn’t remember much from his miraculous, full recovery, but he is filled with immense gratitude for everyone who took care of him, including Luis F. Angel, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist and medical director of NYU Langone’s Adult ECMO Program.
After Gerson was discharged from the hospital, he reconnected with Maureen Lohan-Mullens, NP, the nurse manager of the Kimmel Pavilion patient care unit he had been on. Lohan-Mullens helped Gerson track down the names of 116 individuals—and growing—who played a role in his recovery.
Gerson addressed a heartfelt letter to them, and in it he said, “What I remember when I woke up that morning was seeing ‘Gerson, Jeffrey, 44 yrs. COVID Positive’ written backwards from my vantage point in dry erase marker on the frosted glass door to my room. I couldn’t stop thinking about how many of you saw that written on my door and still entered my room anyway to provide me with the best possible care.”
Gerson recently had a chance to virtually meet many of his healthcare heroes during a surprise Zoom event that was arranged by the TODAY show. The TODAY show also partnered with Georgetown Cupcakes to host a cupcake celebration on behalf of Gerson for the staff at NYU Langone.
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