COVID-19 patient discharged after 24 days

Vincent Marshall
Arturo Leon-Ortiz, 41, seen here with his nursing staff, was released from Western Plains Medical Complex on May 22 after a 24-day battle with COVID-19. Of the 24 days in the hospital, Leon-Ortiz spent 20 of them in the ICU.

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After 24 days in Western Plains Medical Complex, Arturo Leon-Ortiz, 41, was discharged from the hospital on May 22 after a battle with COVID-19.

Leon-Ortiz, a construction worker in Dodge City, went into the emergency room on April 29 after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

According to WPMC, Leon-Ortiz ended up in the ICU for 20 days of his 24-day stay.

“The ER has seen a large number of patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently testing positive. While most of these patients were able to be discharged home quickly, some, like Mr. Leon-Ortiz, have been more critically ill with serious complications,” said Western Plains Team Health ER physician Stephen Miley, MD, in a news release. “Our team has pulled together in the face of this pandemic to care for our patients and community in extraordinary ways. Dodge City is very blessed to have a dedicated hospital like Western Plains here that’s able to take great care of our residents.”

Part of Leon-Ortiz's treatment was receiving convalescent plasma. According to WPMC, Leon-Ortiz was the first patient at the hospital to be given such a treatment which caregivers say added to his improvements.

Convalescent plasma therapy transfuses patients with plasma collected from a recovered COVID-19 patient. It is used for patients with COVID-19 who meet certain criteria.

WPMC had enrolled in the Mayo Clinic U.S. Expanded Access Program for Convalescent Plasma to be an additional treatment option.

“I’m so happy Arturo’s home," said WPMC hospitalist Raul Lastimosa, MD, who was a member of Leon-Ortiz's care team. "Everyone worked so hard as a team. I’m so very proud of our team here at Western Plains, most especially the nursing staff, respiratory therapists, occupational therapist, case management, everyone.

"I’m so very proud.”

Currently Leon-Ortiz is home and says he is exercising and getting stronger.

“I’m so grateful for everyone here. They treated me like I was family," Leon-Ortiz said. "It was difficult to be in the hospital alone, but everyone has been so nice here.

"I’m excited to go home so I can exercise and continue to get stronger. Gracias.”