The Crusader Newspaper Group

Vietnam veteran celebrates Memorial Day with hospital discharge

Advocate South Suburban Hospital’s front-line workers send patient home with celebratory applause

Vietnam Veteran Rufus Fisher, 72, was released from Advocate South Suburban Hospital on Memorial Day after a successful battle with COVID-19. After nearly a week-long hospitalization, he left the hospital feeling grateful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to the hospital team that helped him recover from the virus.

“I was one of the lucky ones to come back so I can sit here and talk to you all,” he says. “When I walked in here, I could hardly breathe. I could hardly do anything. You all got me back on track…back feeling good.”

To show their appreciation for Fisher’s service to country and his fighting spirit, Advocate South Suburban team members lined the hallways and sent him home to a round of applause. All Advocate Aurora Health Hospitals share in the tradition of celebrating the successful discharge of every COVID-19 patient.

“Celebrating the discharge of every patient who tested positive for COVID-19 is an inspiring high-note for everyone on our hospital’s team. I think our team enjoys the discharge celebration as much as the patients,” says Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Otten.

Fisher isn’t sure where he contracted COVID-19, but he believes it was in a store or some other public place. Thinking back, he believes he started experiencing symptoms in March – before he learned to protect himself by wearing a face mask, socially distancing and washing his hands more frequently.

Now that we know what to do to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Fisher says he hopes everyone does their part.

“I’m hoping people take this thing seriously. This is nothing to be [playing around] with because you don’t know where you get it and you don’t know who you’re coming into contact with,” he says.

Now that he is back home and in better health, Fisher says he plans to rest and eventually pick up his regular exercise routine, which he enjoys.

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