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Friday, June 05, 2020
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(Courtesy of St. Mary’s General Hospital) This week, May 10-16, is National Hospital Week, and the motto of the American Hospital Association for this week is: “Where Health Comes First.” To which the staff at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey, add: “and miracles sometimes follow!”

There is no doubt that staff members are praying for the patients along with family members, even when it looks hopeless. How else can you explain the miracle that happened last week?

On April 9 a patient was admitted to St. Mary’s General where he struggled to breathe and eventually went into cardiac arrest. After he was revived at the hospital, he was intubated and later he tested positive for COVID-19. To make matters worse, the 56-year-old recently received a kidney transplant, which made him a high-risk case to succumb to the disease.

The only thing his children, Gabriela and Raphael, could do was pray. And obviously, so did staff workers at the hospital.

“It’s miraculous; just divine intervention—that’s the way I would define it,” said Dr. Jonathan Ramharack, an intensivist physician at St. Mary’s General Hospital who treated the Passaic man. “Being optimistic was difficult. We weren’t really expecting him to even get off life support. He was already in a deep coma and it did not look good.”

After weeks of being unresponsive, ICU nurses informed the family their father started moving, leading them to request a video chat, which turned out to be a game changer.

“We talked to him and told him we were here for him and we are waiting for him,” daughter Gabriela said. “So then out of nowhere in the corner of the video you see him waving at us. Oh my God—my mother just hysterically started crying because we were just so happy.”

And the medical staff said there was not a dry eye in the room.

“We were fighting for him every single day, and for him to make such a remarkable recovery not only lifted up our spirits but the morale for the hospital as well,” Dr. Ramharack said.

Those who know him weren’t surprised by what doctors are calling a miracle. “We knew for a fact he was going to come out of it,” said his son Rafael. “As a family we have experienced so many things with him; we fight along with him.”

The family now hopes his story inspires others not to give up. “We pray for everybody to have that same miracle,” Gabriela said.

His turn-around happened as St. Mary’s General Hospital quickly approaches a significant milestone: its 250th recovery.

To all the staff at St. Mary’s General Hospital—not only the medical staff, but the behind-the-scenes support staff—we thank you for all that you do and for helping with these miracles! The hospital has an ongoing need for staff. If you are interested in working at St. Mary’s General, or for additional information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD at [email protected]

St. Mary’s General Hospital is located at 350 Boulevard and is Passaic’s only hospital, providing service to Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For more information, please visit www.smh-nj.com. For the latest updates, photos and videos, please follow and like St. Mary’s General Hospital’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stmarysgeneral

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