At 44 years old and with no pre-existing medical conditions, Rosario “Boogie” Termine didn’t seem a likely candidate to catch coronavirus. Likely or not, he now says he feels lucky to be alive after spending over one month in the hospital – including 13 days on a ventilator.
“I feel very lucky because I have a second chance at life, which I am grateful for,” Boogie said. “I don’t recall much of my hospital stay, but from my understanding I was really sick and very fortunate to be here today.”
A fever, cough and body aches started on March 16, and the next day Boogie went to an urgent care. A flu test was negative, and he was given antibiotics and sent home.
“We were worried about coronavirus,” Boogie’s wife Traci, a nurse, said. “He said he had a feeling that that’s what he had.”
By March 21, Boogie was extremely achy and weak.
“He went to lay down to take a nap and he was having trouble breathing,” Traci remembers.
The couple made a trip to Ochsner’s Main Campus, where Boogie was tested for coronavirus. He was sent home, and doctors prescribed him a new antibiotic and recommended he monitor his oxygen levels and symptoms.
Two days later, Boogie called Traci while she was at work to tell her his chest was hurting and that he wanted to go back to the emergency room.
They went, and he was again sent home by doctors.
Traci said after resting at home for one day, Boogie became extremely pale and weak.
“Later that evening I told him to get dressed and that we were going back to ER,” she said.
This time, Boogie was admitted.
“When I was admitted, I didn’t know if I was going to get out of the hospital,” he said.
After spending just one day in an inpatient room, Traci received a call from the hospital staff that Boogie was moving into the intensive care unit to be put on a ventilator.
“It was pretty scary because I work in the medical field and understood what was going on with this virus,” she said. “It was not an easy call to take, but I knew it was what he needed at the time.”
Boogie spent 26 days in the hospital, with 13 of those days on a ventilator. During much of his stay, he was on heavy medications and paralytics. He lost over 50 pounds, and was put on dialysis after he went into acute kidney failure.
Traci said it took him nearly a week to be able to move around after coming off the ventilator. He required speech therapy, swallow studies and extensive physical and occupational therapies.
Boogie was transferred to a skilled nursing facility on April 20 for additional rehabilitation and was finally resting home again on May 4.
“He’s still getting physical therapy and keeping distance from people,” Traci said. “Deep down in my heart I knew he would come home … even with ups and downs.”
Traci said she is thankful for everyone who prayed for and supported the family.
“Without that I don’t know that he would have pulled through,” she said.