Hampton VA Medical Center employee and veteran beats the coronavirus


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — After a two-month battle with COVID-19, a Hampton VA Medical Center employee and U.S. Navy Veteran was able to return home to his family.

During a send-off celebration, medical center employees lined the hallways of the hospital recently to support and congratulate their coworker on his recovery from the virus.

The staff cheered for Wayne Petersen as he made his way through the hospital while the iconic theme song from the movie “Rocky” playing over the loudspeaker.

Petersen was admitted to a community hospital on March 24 and was later transferred to the Hampton VA Medical Center on April 21.

“I came here on a ventilator from Sentara CarePlex out in town. I was in an unconscious state. All I can recall was going to Sentara Emergency Room to be seen,” said Petersen. “Now that I am recovered, I am elated to be going home. I’m super happy.”

Petersen’s battle with the coronavirus allowed the Veterans Affairs staff to study the effects of the virus up-close.

Petersen said when he woke he was at Hampton VA Medical Center and had no idea that more than two weeks had passed.

“Seventeen days had passed, I only thought it all happened ‘yesterday’ as in only maybe a day passed,” said Petersen.

During his final days as a patient at the medical center, the staff said Petersen was very appreciative of the care he had received from the attending doctors and nurses.

“There is this stigma and belief that people say, ‘Oh, you don’t want to get seen for anything at the VA.’ I’m here to say that I experienced none of that stigma,” said Petersen. “As a matter of fact, I experienced the exact opposite of all of that. We truly do take care of our own.”

“Wayne is a valued member of our medical center team and I could not be prouder of the way our doctors, nurses, and administrative personnel responded to help our teammate and other veterans fight this virus,” said David Collins, Hampton VA Medical Center director.

To follow COVID-19 cases at the Hampton Veteran Affairs Medical Center click here.

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