HILLSBORO, Ore. — It was a farewell fit for a king. Hector Calderon, Oregon's first known COVID-19 patient, was released from Kaiser Westside Tuesday.
"Thank you so much for your hard work and dedicating it to me," said Calderon.
Calderon has nothing but gratitude for the team of doctors and nurses who treated him for more than two months.
"We are so thankful and thank you for everything," he said.
Just as thankful are the students and staff at Forest Hill Elementary School where Calderon works as a janitor. In late February, the Lake Oswego school closed for a number of days because Calderon got sick.
Turns out he was the second patient in the country to contract the coronavirus through community spread. That means Calderon did not catch the virus from someone who traveled to a hard-hit country.
"This illness really affects everyone, the young, the old, the healthy, not healthy," said Dr. Ryan Clay. "It's not discriminating."
KGW has learned that doctors treated Calderon with Remdesivir, making him one of the first COVID-19 patients in the country to get the drug.
"Caring for Hector when he was here at Kaiser Westside was an incredible honor for this team of nurses and they should be proud of the work they've done over the last two months," said Jennifer Keetch, ICU manager.
The journey ended Tuesday as Calderon was discharged from Kaiser Westside. It was quite the event. Doctors and nurses lined the hallways. It was capped off with a special performance by a mariachi band.
"God bless you and thank you for everything," said Calderon. "Thank you so much."
Calderon is now heading to a skilled nursing facility to continue his recovery. A Go Fund Me has been set up to help with expenses.