UAB police officer leaves hospital COVID-19 unit after 59 days

UAB police officer leaves hospital COVID-19 unit after 59 days
UAB Police Officer Parnell Guyton received a hero's welcome from a host of UAB staff after undergoing treatment for COVID-19 for 59 days in UAB's Medical Intensive Care and Special Care units. Guyton, who was on a ventilator for 45 days, will receive follow-up care in the hospital's rehabilitation unit. (Steve Wood/UAB)

UAB Police Officer Parnell Guyton was greeted by co-workers cheering with joy as he was wheeled to rehab after nearly two months of treatment for COVID-19.

Guyton, 47, received a police escort Friday, May 29, from his fellow university officers and a triumphant send-off from UAB Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and Special Care Unit (SCU) providers.

Guyton – one of UAB Hospital’s first and most severely ill COVID-19 patients – entered the COVID unit March 31. He was immediately placed on a ventilator, which he stayed on for 45 days. Guyton received treatment in MICU for 23 days and spent 36 days in the SCU.

Dr. Marty Solomon, a UAB Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care physician who cared for Guyton, said that Guyton’s successful recovery “means the world” to UAB staff. Solomon was among physicians who could not recall caring for a patient with a worse case of acute respiratory distress syndrome who lived to survive.

“I think it was a good closure for his family and him, and also for our staff,” Solomon said. “He’s one of our own, and we’re glad he’s progressing – we’ll stay in his corner, continue praying for him on his rehabilitation. We’ll be glad to get him back to work soon.”

UAB Police Chief Anthony Purcell said, “We’re very excited. This is an emotional moment. So we’ll continue to pray, and to help his wife out and his son and their family. We’re just very excited today.”

“We’ll be glad to get him back to work,” Purcell said. “Words can’t express how we feel.”

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