Two medics from the New York Police Department traveled to Philadelphia to bring home one of their own after his 168-day battle with the CCP virus.
Lieutenant Yvan Pierre-Louis left the Good Shepherd Penn Partners rehab center on Sept. 12 to the huge relief of his comrades and fanfare from his loved ones.
Pierre-Louis, 59, first fell ill with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, in late March. He was admitted to NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola on March 28 and put on a ventilator that night, according to Newsday. However, his condition deteriorated.
Then on April 29, he was admitted to North Shore University Hospital in Long Island.
As his condition worsened further, the lieutenant’s doctors regretfully informed his daughter, Diane Latham, that there was no chance her father would be able to pull through. However, the 32-year-old nurse was incredulous. “I never thought it was the end,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pierre-Louis, a platoon commander who oversaw booking at New York County’s Criminal Court, was lying bloated and unconscious in his hospital bed, on a ventilator, covered in sores when Latham first saw him. She and her mother, Isabelle, were told he would soon be taken off his ventilator, as the apparatus was needed for other patients.
“It was a scary time,” NYPD Captain Garfield McLeod said of the early months of the outbreak in New York City. “We wore latex gloves, we tried to do a little social distancing, and we did the mask, but at the same time we were very, very nervous.”
McLeod described his popular colleague as “very energetic,” adding that Pierre-Louis “treated everyone fairly, from the guy that’s charged with murder to the guy charged with petty larceny.”
Pierre-Louis is among 5,800 members of the NYPD who have tested positive for the virus so far. As of Sept. 1, 46 have died. The lieutenant’s own mother, 86-year-old Maria Lina Pierre-Louis, died from the virus in May while her son was in a coma, reports Newsday.
Pierre-Louis’s doctor prescribed steroids as a last-ditch attempt to quell the virus, but Latham found hope in her father’s medical chart, as he showed no signs of widespread organ failure. She arranged to have him transferred to her place of work, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Isabelle and the couple’s three children, Ralph Remy, Yvan Pierre-Louis Jr., and Latham, rented an apartment near the hospital and took turns to take care of Pierre-Louis. “If it wasn’t for my wife pressing and calling and challenging,” Latham’s husband, Kristian, told The Philadelphia Inquirer, his father-in-law “definitely wouldn’t have made it.”
Pierre-Louis, surrounded by family, started to make progress. He came off his ventilator on July 12 and initially battled with troubling delusions but found clarity in the grounding repetition of his daily three-hour therapy sessions.
He recovered fully enough to be discharged from the hospital three days before his birthday.
Dr. Andrew Courtwright, Pierre-Louis’s primary physician, called his patient’s prolonged sickness and successful recovery “a remarkable testament to him and his family.”
“I’m an immigrant, you know,” Pierre-Louis, coming through the other side of his 168-day ordeal, with 75 of them on a ventilator, explained. “That’s why I work so hard for my children to be better than me.” The 59-year-old journeyed to the United States from Haiti at the age of 13 and is a 29-year veteran of the NYPD.
NYPD News posted footage from Pierre-Louis’s hospital release on Twitter. “[D]octors were not certain he would recover,” they wrote. “Today, he was released with a clean bill of health.”
Before being transferred into an ambulance for his escort home to Hempstead, Long Island, Pierre-Louis took a moment to greet his family—including his son Remy in full NYPD uniform—and hug his grandson, Kristian, aged 3. The lieutenant has decided to retire from the profession he loves in favor of family time.
“I feel blessed,” he told Newsday the night before his homecoming. “From no hope to hope, that was a lot.”
The lieutenant has the full support of his unit. “He got a second chance,” McLeod said. “At this point, he needs to just relax and enjoy life.”
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