Alabama hospital staff give standing ovation to first COVID-19 patient to move off ventilator

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AUBURN, Ala. (WHNT) – In an emotional moment at an Alabama hospital, staff lined the hallways to celebrate the first COVID-19 patient who recovered enough to be removed from a ventilator.

Employees wearing masks and protective gear gave a standing ovation to Tony Thornton, 48, who was moved from the intensive care unit to a regular medical room at East Alabama Medical Center on Tuesday.

Thornton was intubated March 20 after being admitted to EAMC. He was removed from the ventilator Sunday.

“I am still weak, but feeling pretty good,” Thornton said, according to the hospital. “I talked to my wife for the first time and that was wonderful.”

EAMC says it has been able to discharge 29 patients, so far, who came in with COVID-19.

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