Cecilio Cervantes is glad to be back at his Cedartown home after spending 115 days in the hospital with a serious COVID-19 infection.

The 44-year-old was admitted to Floyd Medical Center with covid in September and spent weeks on a ventilator, but was recently discharged. Cervantes said he is still weak, and walking remains an effort.

He said one of the hardest things he had to do was climb stairs during the rehabilitation process to build up his strength.

“That was very tough,” he said. “The first time I tried I couldn’t do it, but I think the second time I made it all the way up.”

Floyd physical therapist Carolyn Rusiecki said Cervantes never complained about his sessions.

“I was impressed with his dedication and willingness to participate,” Rusiecki said. “Not all patients react in the same way. Sometimes therapy is not comfortable, but he really accepted the challenge.”

Cervantes’ girlfriend, Margoth Reyes, chronicled his stay, keeping track of milestones, good and bad. She said it was hard not to be able to be in the room with him while he was sick. Because he was often sedated, even the use of a cellphone or tablet to communicate was not often possible.

She said the nurses were determined to keep her updated on his progress.

“They were just so sweet to me,” Reyes said. “They would say ‘You can call us anytime and we will tell you how he is doing.’” She said the nurses would always say “We are here for you.”

Cervantes was hospitalized during the last spike in cases caused by the delta variant. Since that time, the number of cases dropped but spiked again, mainly fueled by the highly virulent omicron variant and large unprotected gatherings over the holidays.

The resulting hospitalizations have continued to increase following the latest surge. On Thursday, there were 72 covid patients at Floyd Medical Center and 68 at AdventHealth Floyd.

For comparison, two weeks ago, on Dec. 30, there were 37 covid patients at Floyd and 21 at Redmond.

So far, the death toll hasn’t matched the toll from the delta spike. In 2022, four Floyd County residents have died from a COVID-19 infection, according to Department of Public Health records. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, 330 Floyd County residents have died from covid. Another 86 deaths in Floyd County are listed as suspected to have been caused by the disease.

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