On July 8, Roosevelt was admitted to Franklin Foundation Hospital, diagnosed with COVID-19. The next day, his 66th birthday, the nurses sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
“After that, I really don’t remember much of anything,” says Roosevelt, who lives in Baldwin. Roosevelt was on a ventilator for 25 days before being transferred from ICU to Acute Care and then to the hospitals’ Swing Bed program — a total of 71 days at Franklin Foundation Hospital. The virus was especially dangerous for Roosevelt because of his high risk factors. He had open-heart surgery less than two years ago and is also a cancer survivor.
Roosevelt’s wife, Rita, has nothing but high praise for the nursing staff. “Because of COVID, we weren’t allowed to visit,” says Rita. “That was tough, but the nurses were great! They would call me four or five times a day to tell me how Roosevelt was doing. Beth Simoneaux (RN, WCC) even figured out a way that I could video chat with Roosevelt. She told me I could call at midnight or three in the morning — it didn’t matter. There were several times when Roosevelt’s condition was really touch and go. The entire staff really encouraged me through those dark days.”
When Roosevelt was discharged, the staff at Franklin Foundation Hospital lined the hallways to cheer him on. “This hospital never gave up on Roosevelt,” says Rita. “For that, I am so thankful!”