Canadian News Jul 16, 2020 3:51 PM EST

Toronto man, 73, begins recovery from coronavirus after 104 days in ICU

A 73-year-old Toronto man has started making a recovery after spending 104 days in ICU.

Toronto man, 73, begins recovery from coronavirus after 104 days in ICU
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta
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A 73-year-old Toronto man has started making a recovery after spending 104 days in ICU, according to CTV News.

Bruno Iozzo was one of the first coronavirus patients to be admitted at Toronto’s Humber River Hospital. After that, Iozzo fought against the virus in the intensive care unit of the hospital for 104 days.

Iozzo was finally discharged from the hospital days ago and now plans to return home by August 29 after completing rehab at Runnymede Healthcare Centre in Toronto.

“He's been here for five days, he's walking, up in a chair, he’s eating by mouth,” said the facilities director of patient care, Geeta Grewal. “He's actively engaged in activities so he's doing very, very well."

“It's amazing because he's so positive and he's so motivated that he really wants to do well and we know that he's going to do well.”

When CTV was in contact with Iozzo’s daughter Gisella in April while previously reporting on his story, she didn’t know whether he would be able to successfully fight the infection.

“I just hope my dad would be one of those miracles that come out of this story that shows the world that there's hope,” she said at the time.

At first, doctors told Iozzo that his lungs had been damaged by the infection and could not send the proper amount of oxygen to his blood. The damage eventually resulted in dialysis and a kidney failure.

“We were very concerned when he came into the ICU,” said Humber River Hospital critical care physician, Dr. Sanjay Manocha. “He was critically ill needing life support to go on the ventilator and through his journey in the ICU there were times where we weren't sure if he was going to survive.”

Iozzo’s journey has turned into a big success story for everyone who has been involved with him.

“It's a great feeling to see someone who was that sick, go through a severe critical illness on life support to the point where we were not sure that they were going to survive,” said Manocha.

“It was amazing to see and it provides hope for us that we can provide the same for other patients who go through this illness as well.”

Iozzo said he can’t remember too much from the ordeal.

“(For) two, three months it was black,” he said. “Three months in this dark room... It was the worst.”

Manocha is hopeful that other patients and frontline workers can take inspiration from Iozzo.

“By seeing someone leave the ICU and surviving this, it actually puts faith back into what we do on a day-to-day basis for all of our patients,” he said.  “This, I think, will help the team recognize that their efforts are not (in) vain.”

Iozzo still has a long way to go until he is fully recovered though Gisella cannot be happier with how well he has done so far.

“It's just incredible for him to speak, for him to see what he's gone through and be able to tell his story and to hug me,” she said.

“I was just happy that when he woke up that he remembered my name because part of me didn’t think he was going to.”

To show how grateful she is, Gisella started fundraising for the hospital. She collects garbage on the Humber River recreational trail and fills a bag every time $100 is donated to her campaign which she has called “Trash for Treasure.” By the end of the year, her goal is to raise $30,000 to put towards the hospital’s foundation.

“I think we're in a better position to support people who come to the hospital and come into the ICU,” said Manocha.

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