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COVID-19 Patient Credits Hoag with Speedy Recovery

“The staff at Hoag was incredible. I saw how much work it was for them, the steps they had to take to get in and out of PPE [or personal protective equipment]. The gloves, the mask, face shield, gown. It was a lot of work for them,” he said. “They gave such great care.”

After intense coughing that filled David Brooks with deep concern, the view out the window of his hospital room gave him hope. He knew he would be able to return to doing what he loved - being on the water.

David was recovering from a disease that was killing hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, and he said he has Hoag and much prayer to thank for it.

“I have a friend in Utah, a retired cop, and I heard from mutual friend that he was on ventilator and going on dialysis due to COVID,” said David, a retired Costa Mesa Police Department captain. “I had another friend almost die and is currently learning how to walk again with a walker. When I got the diagnosis, I had a lot of questions and concerns. Was I going on a ventilator? How bad is this going to be? And how long will I be hospitalized?”

David said the tireless staff at Hoag, particularly Philip Robinson, M.D, medical director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology, put those fears to rest.

“With Dr. Robinson I knew I was in good hands,” David said. “He made me realize that I was there at a good time, that they caught it relatively early. I realized how blessed I was, considering the circumstances.”

David and his wife of 50 years, retired Hoag nurse Lynell Brooks, help to take care of their three grandsons, ages 4 and under. When the grandkids caught a cold over winter break, they “shared” it with the rest of the family.

Everyone else got better, but David’s cough stayed with him all the way to June. When a fever kicked in, and his oxygen levels started to drop, Lynell sped him to Hoag’s Emergency Department.

He was screened and isolated, diagnosed with pneumonia and COVID-19. The medical staff placed him on oxygen, with 12 leads crisscrossing his body that led to two monitors. He was alone, and he was coughing so badly he felt as though he might vomit from the pain. But from the very beginning, Hoag kept him comfortable and full of hope.

“Dr. Robinson told me that he wanted to use an experimental drug, something that works 61% of the time: Remdesivir,” David said. “I wanted relief, and I thought the odds sounded good. I started it and got a bit better every day. My cough drastically improved. After my fourth treatment, I was feeling well.”

Beyond access to clinical trials and the most advanced treatments, David said the hospital staff’s empathy helped him recover through a trying and scary experience. From letting his wife bring in a travel mattress to better accommodate his tall frame to situating him in a room with a beautiful view of the harbor – which allowed for a ‘sail by’ visit from a dear friend in a new boat to brighten his spirits – to the kindness and compassion the staff showed him, David said Hoag continuously went above and beyond.

“The staff at Hoag was incredible. I saw how much work it was for them, the steps they had to take to get in and out of PPE [or personal protective equipment]. The gloves, the mask, face shield, gown. It was a lot of work for them,” he said. “They gave such great care.”

After a six-day hospital stay, David was well enough to go home again, and he said he is getting stronger every day.

“I’m still recovering, and I have to take a lot of naps,” he said. “My lung capacity is not what it was, but I am slowly building back.”