“We weren’t sure we were going to get him through”

June 05, 2020 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Heroes

This blog was originally posted in 2020. Some information may be out of date. For the latest updates on vaccines, testing, screening, visitor policy and post-COVID support, visit EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

It started with a cough and shortness of breath, bad enough that Jonathan Davila was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital on March 23. The 30-year-old Addison resident’s condition quickly worsened.

“What’s really extraordinary about this particular scenario is that he was so young, so healthy otherwise, and so profoundly ill, to a degree where we weren’t sure we were going to get him through,” says Phillip Cozzi, M.D., a pulmonary medicine physician with Elmhurst Hospital.

Davila did pull through, though, and to the applause of doctors, nurses, staff and administrators, was discharged from Elmhurst Hospital on May 5 following 44 days of treatment for COVID-19.

“It was through a comprehensive team pushing the limits that helped him get over the top,” says Dr. Cozzi.

Davila was among the first patients with COVID-19 to be treated at Elmhurst Hospital. He was intubated for three weeks for respiratory failure and was on dialysis at one point during his month-and-a-half stay.

Davila had not seen his children — Danny, 15; Mason, 5 and Elijah, 6 months — in person since he was admitted to the hospital. His wife Ashley and the children were there to greet him when he left Elmhurst Hospital before being transferred to Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton.

"It came to a time where I didn't believe he was going to come home," says Ashley. "I was starting to think of how I was going to tell my kids that they weren't going to have their dad. But right when it was at that point, I got the call that he was doing better."

"It is distinctly unusual in my experience to have somebody so young, so profoundly sick and to emerge so well," says Dr. Cozzi.

"I'm very grateful for the doctors and all the nurses because without them, he wouldn't be here," says Ashley. "I'm just very happy he's alive."

Edward-Elmhurst Health is now acknowledging each inpatient we've treated for COVID-19 who has been discharged from Edward Hospital or Elmhurst Hospital with a 24-inch, decorative daffodil lawn ornament outside our hospitals. Each inpatient also leaves the hospital with a real daffodil and note of encouragement as well.

Traditionally a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodils provide an uplifting representation of those who are winning the fight against this deadly virus. To date, we’ve discharged hundreds of patients with coronavirus. Learn more about how we’re putting hope on display.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

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