Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s first COVID-19 patient returns to thank staff


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Cocoa Daniels spent two weeks on a ventilator and the following months recovering from COVID-19.

Seven months to the day from her diagnosis on March 21, she returned to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center to thank the staff that saved her life.

The lunch was set up for social distance, but in that room, you could feel the close bond that had formed.

“I thank you guys. You’re my family, I love you guys,” Daniels told them.

Infection Prevention and Control Director, Tiffany Silmon responded to Daniels with warmth.

“I can’t tell you how many times I looked at your chart, how many times I walked past your room, how many prayers I’ve had for you since the day you were admitted,” Silmon said.

Hospital President and CEO Reese Jackson told that since Daniels’ case, the staff at Chesapeake Regional has seen thousands of COVID-19 patients, and admitted nearly 600.

“Who would ever have known that in the month of July, August, and September, this hospital had the highest number of COVID patients than any hospital in the Commonwealth of Virginia?” he said.

Most do recover, but not all.

“It’s ugly and I still cant believe, it offends me, when I see people without masks,” Daniels said.

She is still grappling with some memory issues or “mind fog” but is otherwise physically healed.

Her visit clearly made an impact on the staff, especially Silmon who clutched her chest when she said Daniels’ story had a significant impact on her.

“You speak life to everything I tell people about wearing a mask and the outcomes you can have, and to see you today just speaks to my heart.”

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