Staff members at desert valley hospital in Victorville are celebrating an incredible milestone after reporting zero COVID-19 patients for the first time since the pandemic began.
They are marking this moment in high desert history because it is the first day since June 12, 2020 that the hospital no longer has a single COVID-19 patient.
"Long nights, staffing shortages, mediation issues but we finally got there,” said Dr. Imran Siddiqui, chief medical officer.
Dr. Siddiqui says since the pandemic began, his staff has tested more than 17,000 people and treated more than 4,300 COVID-19 patients.
He admits that at times it was a medical nightmare, especially during the many surges in hospitalizations, and also feeling helpless with the patients who couldn't be saved.
“When we see our younger patients that have a full life ahead of them and they're just fighting for their last breath,” Dr. Siddiqui said.
But with the heartbreaking losses, there have been so many inspiring success stories like 33-year-old Miguel Rodriguez who was recently released from desert valley after 128 days of fighting for his life.
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He survived COVID-19 because of the unwavering dedication of his doctors and nurses.
“And these patients when they get discharged and I see them a month later two months later and they're walking and not on oxygen and they come with their families it brings us such great joy,” Dr. Siddiqui said.
“I can't say enough about how thankful I am to have this team of people I have the privilege to work with,” said the hospital CEO Fred Hunter.
Hunter says his medical staff members aren't the only heroes who walk these hallways.
"Our housekeeping staff that clean those rooms to dietary staff that fed those patients and feed our staff to everyone who greeted people that would come into the hospital,” Hunter said.
A team that has seen the worst of the pandemic, but more importantly a team that has also brought out the best in each other.
“But I think it just showed that pushing ourselves to the max and rolling up our sleeves that anything is possible if we all come together and work towards it,” Dr. Siddiqui said.