Dave Shurna and guest co-host, Tom Lillig, interview Dr. Andres S. Maldonado for another installment of our Alchemy Series (generously sponsored by Wells Fargo and Prudential). Andres was in his third year of residency as an emergency doctor in New York City when he tested positive for COVID-19. He was rushed to the ICU and came close to intubation. After a week, with the help of his fellow physicians and intense treatment, he was considered ready to be discharged. Andres recounts his harrowing experience and the lessons he gained in the process.
When Dr. Andres Maldonado started experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, he resisted heading to the hospital. As his condition worsened, his friends and family urged him to seek help. So, after 9 days he was tested and it was positive. He was rushed to the ER and soon, the ICU.
His stoicism quickly diminished when he was bed-bound and was placed on a high-flow nasal cannula to force oxygen into his lungs. For days, he struggled to breathe and was close to intubation. For a week Andres was helped by nurses and doctors (normally his coworkers) and was forced to adjust from the role of caregiver to being a patient. He fought to stay alive and was buoyed by the support of his parents, his brother, his girlfriend, and his large network of friends; many of whom sent him messages via social media.
Finally, with new medication and all treatment options deployed, his lungs cleared enough to be discharged. We speak with Andres about his commitment to medicine, the strength of his Rope Team, and the importance of empathy for his patients his experience has brought him.
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