CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Stories of patients recovering from COVID-19 are starting to pile up across the Tri-State.
What makes Ron Sikkema’s so remarkable, according to UC Health officials, is what he brought into his battle with the disease.
Sikkema, of Loveland, Ohio, is diagnosed with lymphoma.
In fact it was the lymphoma that brought Sikkema to West Chester Hospital’s Emergency Department March 28. He believed he had a medical issue related to his cancer.
During that visit, the 55-year-old Procter and Gamble employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Sikkema’s lung function declined quickly, a hospital spokesperson says -- so quickly he was taken to the ICU soon after being admitted.
“Doctors immediately intubated him and placed him on a ventilator to open up his airway, administer oxygen and help him breathe," the spokesperson said.
Then remarkably Sikkema’s condition began to improve.
One highlight of his long stay, the spokesperson says, happened April 27 when Sikkema was surprised by 33 P&G co-workers for his 55th birthday.
The co-workers reportedly held signs of encouragement and cheered him on from outside his room.
The display moved Sikkema to tears.
“This is truly the best birthday I have ever had,” he told hospital staff. “I have never felt so much love and support.”
Sikkeman’s 38-day hospital stay came to an end May, when the hospital spokesperson says he was released to return home.
“You guys are awesome,” Sikkeman said to his team of caregivers on his way out of the hospital. “You guys have treated me with excellence. You guys are truly professionals, and I couldn’t have asked for a better stay.”