COVID-19 Patient Released From Highland Community Hospital After 26 Days in Hospital
PICAYUNE, MISS. – (April 30, 2020) Hattie “Polly” Parker of Picayune left Highland Community Hospital on Thursday amid fanfare and the well wishes of hospital staff, who had become like family to her. Parker is a COVID-19 survivor who had been in the hospital since April 4.
Parker, 68, and her husband, both COVID-19 positive, were transported to the Picayune hospital on April 4. Her husband, a former pastor, entered the Emergency Room in cardiac arrest and passed away before ever being admitted. According to Kevin Hedgepeth, director of Acute Care Services at Highland, Parker was placed in the Intensive Care Unit where she was intubated and remained on a ventilator for eight days before being extubated and moved to the floor. From there, she spent a week in the Swing Bed Unit before being discharged on Thursday.
Hedgepeth referred to Parker as a “very sweet lady whose only regret was that she had to leave us.”
Dr. Fatima Sadiq, who took care of Parker while in the ICU, said Parker was hypertensive and quite sick while under her care. Hedgepeth said Parker was also diabetic in addition to her hypertension.
Sadiq said the hospital staff served as Parker’s family since COVID-19 regulations at the hospital didn’t allow for visitors, and her real family couldn’t be there with her. “I told her we would be her family while she was here,” Sadiq said. “We’ve truly loved all of our COVID patients in ICU. Because we had the chance to talk with their families about them, we got a chance to get to know them and understand them.”
Sadiq remembers walking into the ICU one morning and hearing someone singing at the top of their lungs. It turned out to be Parker. Sadiq explained that while on the ventilator, the respiratory therapists would sing hymns to her, and once she was extubated, Parker decided to sing back. “She was singing praise to God and to staff members,” Sadiq said.
And while she missed her family, Parker realized God had given her a whole new family in the Highland healthcare staff. Sadiq said she went in Thursday morning to say goodbye to Parker, and I told her “she looked great.”
As she was wheeled out Thursday amid Highland healthcare workers, who lined a path and held green and white balloons, Parker was dressed appropriately in Highland green. She had on new jewelry a healthcare worker had purchased for her, since Parker’s daughter had forgotten her earrings.
Parker will continue to follow-up her care with her primary care physician.
For more information on Highland Community Hospital, and the most recent COVID-19 updates, please visit www.highlandch.com.
CAPTION: Bryan Maxie, Highland Community Hospital administrator, speaks to Polly Parker as she prepares to leave the hospital following her 26-day stay for COVID-19. Fatima Sadiq, MD, the surgical intensivist who cared for Parker in the ICU, looks on. Highland Community Hospital employees gave Parker a sendoff complete with green and white balloons.