‘We’re so proud:’ Advocate Aurora officials announce 1,000th COVID-19 patient discharge

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MILWAUKEE -- As the nation continues its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, hope still finds a way to shine through these challenging times. On Tuesday, April 14, Advocate Aurora Health doctors and nurses cheered several COVID-19 patients as they were released from hospitals across Illinois and Wisconsin. This, as the system surpassed its 1,000th COVID-19 patient discharge.

“This milestone is an important reminder of the excellent care our team provides and the hard work, commitment and focus it’s taken to reach this point,” said Dr. Gary Stuck, chief medical officer of Advocate Aurora Health in a news release. “We’re so proud of how our doctors, nurses and team members have risen to meet this historic challenge, and we’re grateful for their service and sacrifice. But the work isn’t over, and the public must continue to do their part by practicing social distancing and staying home as much as possible. There will be more milestones to come, both happy and tragic. And our actions now will determine how much celebrating or grieving we do later. We’re all in this together.”

Advocate Aurora officials issued the following details on COVID-19 patients who have been released:

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center – Chicago, IL

When Carmen Benabe, 86, started having trouble breathing, her family didn’t wait very long to bring her to the emergency room. Given her age and underlying medical conditions against the backdrop of the pandemic, the family is more vigilant than ever about ensuring Carmen’s health and safety. So when they brought her to the emergency room at Advocate Illinois Masonic on Good Friday, they were heartbroken by the news: Carmen was diagnosed with COVID-19 and had to be admitted right away.

Benabe’s family waited on pins and needles, hoping and praying for a speedy recovery. Benabe’s daughter, Dalia Colon, says the days were long and scary as she and her family waited for good news.

That good news finally came Tuesday. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of clinicians at Advocate Illinois Masonic, four days after her admission, Benabe is well on her way to recovery and is being discharged home for self-quarantine.

Colon says her mom’s discharge is nothing short of a miracle, and the family is thankful that she’s still here. Benabe is looking forward to reuniting with family, recovering in the comfort of her home with them nearby, and enjoying homecooked Puerto Rican meals.

Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore – Cudahy, WI 

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Christopher Macintosh, 40, of South Milwaukee, was discharged from Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore Tuesday. He expressed gratitude to the hospitalists and nurses at South Shore and is looking forward to being home with his wife and three sons. He told the nurses that when he is back to full health, he’d love to become a hospital volunteer at South Shore.

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Aurora Medical Center in Grafton – Grafton, WI 

Wynonia Payne

Wynonia Payne

Wynonia Payne, COVID-19 patient and an 81-year-old Milwaukee resident, was discharged from Aurora Medical Center in Grafton Tuesday.

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Advocate Trinity Hospital – Chicago, IL 

Tuesday's discharge of Chicago resident Paul Richards, 69, was a cause for celebration for the patient as well as the doctors and nurses at Advocate Trinity Hospital.

Richards, a retired Chicago firefighter and a Vietnam veteran came to the hospital by way of the Emergency Department. Richards survived on the ventilator for 2 weeks, until he was extubated this past weekend. He recovered in one of the hospital’s COVID-19 units until his discharge at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Richards says he is grateful for the care he received at Advocate Trinity.

“It was like being in Vietnam. Everyone responded with no hesitation. Everyone stepped up to do what they had to do and put their lives on the line to care for me,” Richards said. 

Advocate Christ Medical Center – Oak Lawn, IL 

Joseph Ciarlette, 53, of Joliet, IL was discharged from Advocate Christ Medical Center Tuesday.

Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital – Barrington, IL

Beatriz Newcomb, 41 was discharged Tuesday after nearly a week at the Barrington hospital. Beatriz said she is excited to see her husband and continue her recovery at home with her family. Because being this sick takes a physical and emotional toll, she said, right now she’s focused on resting and trying to get better. Of her care team, she said, “Everyone here is so wonderful – nurses, doctors, PAs – everyone.”

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