KING COUNTY -- A Seattle man is now out of the hospital after a two-month long battle with Covid-19.
Michael Flor, 70, was first hospitalized on March 4, and lived to see the day he was discharged from Swedish Issaquah on Tuesday, May 5.
“It’s very different now,” said Flor. “You have a second chance at relationships, with your wife, your kids, friends and stuff like that.”
Flor left the hospital with a deeper appreciation for life, and an understanding that he is now entering a new world of social distancing.
The hospital staff gave him a cheerful send-off in the hospital lobby on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate his recovery. They clapped and cheered him on, as he embraced his family for the first time since early March.
“That was the longest we’ve been apart,” said his wife Elisa Del Rosario. “We hadn’t kissed since February 21.”
Michael Flor’s family, doctors and nurses weren’t sure he would survive the insidious virus, but they were by his side every step of the way.
“Nurse Louise was on duty that night when we thought Michael was going to leave us,” said his wife Elisa Del Rosario. “She promised me that she would stay by my Michael and not leave him alone, and she held the phone to his ear while the kids and I thought we were saying goodbye.”
The hospital staff were angels, and Flor said over the course of two months about 50 doctors and nurses cared for him.
“There was one particular night where I was just down, couldn’t sleep, missing Elisa and one of the nurses Hannah came in held my hand, talked me through it until I fell asleep. I’ll never forget that,” said Flor.
Dr. Anne Lipke is the Swedish Medical Director of the Issaquah ICU.
“I was actually thinking about him today. I almost called him. I missed talking to him,” said Dr. Lipke. “Wondering how he did on his first night away from us. It’s like having a kid go off to college I suppose.”
She said Flor is an incredibly lucky man to have the strength he did to fight the coronavirus.
“His first step was getting the breathing tube out, getting his bigger IV lines out of his neck, being able to wake up and talk, working on learning to swallow again, learning to walk again,” said Dr. Lipke.
Flor turned 70 years old in the hospital on March 17. He and his wife celebrate 30 years of marriage in 2020. The biggest feat this year is conquering the battle against the coronavirus.
Flor reminds everyone that “Covid is not something to toy with.”