Video provided by Stony Brook University
SURVIVAL — Stony Brook University Hospital in the Throes of the Pandemic
In February of 2020, Gary DeGrijze visited an allergist for a mysterious rash that covered his body. He thought it might be an allergic reaction. He tracked what he was eating and took Prednisone and Benadryl in an attempt to relieve the symptoms. Then he started to cough.
The 49-year-old New York National Guard veteran, army reservist and postal service worker from Bellport called out of work in mid-March and got tested for COVID-19, a new disease — new, at the time, anyway — caused by the coronavirus that had only just reached the United States.
His wife, 50-year-old postal worker Ana DeGrijze, said the rash was gone by then but he had developed a cough and fever, so she took him to a nearby urgent care.
“The lady at the urgent care stopped me from getting out of the car,” Gary recalls. “She said, ‘Stay there. What’s your phone number? We’re gonna call you, they’re gonna have somebody call you.’”
Within minutes, they were on the phone with someone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gary’s symptoms checked all the boxes for COVID-19, but when asked if he had come into contact with someone who had the virus, he couldn’t answer.
He thinks he may have gotten it from a coworker, who came to work sick the month Gary got the rash. There’s no way to truly know. Before vaccines were widely distributed, the United States and other countries struggled to contain the highly contagious COVID-19.
By the end of February, there were 68 confirmed cases — and one death — in the country. But that was only the beginning. Nobody could have guessed how those numbers would escalate.
A Nurse on the Front Lines
It’s the morning of April 1, 2020, and Lindsay Nolan has just arrived at Stony Brook University Hospital for her shift as a nurse on the medical surgical floor, located on level 12 South. Typically, this is where the patients…
More than 219 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19 – some 41 million Americans among them. Almost 4.5 million have died – including nearly 670,000 Americans. But amid the grim statistics are the stories of those who recovered.…
Code Lavender – Help for the Healers
At the height of the pandemic’s first wave, Dr. Tazeen Beg was racing through Stony Brook University Hospital, administering anesthesia and placing patients with COVID-19 on ventilators. A clinical anesthesiologist, Beg usually provided perioperative care for surgical patients. So when…
Dark Days and Long Nights – On the Job with Stony Brook Nurses
Photo provided by Stony Brook University It was 1979 and Carolyn Santora had just started her career as a nurse in New York City when she came across an advertisement in a nursing journal: “Once in a lifetime,” the…
Medical Students Chart a New Course
Fourth-year medical student Alyssa Mangino sat casually in front of her laptop, the faint radiance of the Zoom video feed illuminating her face. Behind her, brown blinds obscured the nocturnal world outside. Her eyes gleamed as she spoke, and occasionally she gestured…