Life, Covid-Free, After 22 Days in the Hospital

After 22 days in the hospital, fighting for his life, Mark Frilot is going home.

A 45-year-old Louisianian with no underlying health conditions, he tested positive for coronavirus on March 14, after a week of body aches, hallucination-inducing fevers, and a misdiagnosis of flu. For much of his time in the hospital, he relied entirely on a ventilator. On March 27, he was able to take his first breaths without it.

By Thursday, doctors informed Mr. Frilot’s wife, Heaven, that he was ready to be discharged. His final test for coronavirus had come back negative, they said — and he was free to finish his physical therapy at home with his family.

For the past three weeks, Ms. Frilot (pronounced FREE-low) has been quarantined at home with the couple’s 10-year-old son, Ethan. As her husband was in the hospital, Ms. Frilot found herself serving as something of an interpreter for her conservative community in Kenner, La., about the severity of the illness. Some, citing right-wing media figures like Rush Limbaugh, had waved the virus off as unserious. Friends and strangers alike who heard of her story, whether via Facebook or media reports, sent food, toys for Ethan, and messages saying that Mr. Frilot’s diagnosis had opened their eyes to the reality of the pandemic.

Mr. Frilot was East Jefferson General Hospital’s first positive case of the coronavirus. Louisiana has rapidly become an epicenter of the virus, with the Louisiana Department of Health reporting 10,297 confirmed cases on Friday; Jefferson Parish, where the Frilots live, accounts for 2,495 of those cases. State officials have blamed the federal government for not directing them to shut down Mardi Gras festivities, which most likely fueled the outbreak in New Orleans and surrounding cities.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/us/politics/coronavirus-recovery-mark-frilot-heaven-frilot.html

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