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Second Chance: COVID-19 Patient Returns to AdventHealth to Thanks His Medical Team One Year Later

For physicians and the medical team, it’s the norm to see patients they care for at their worst, but one AdventHealth Orlando team recently had the rare opportunity to see a former patient at his best.

Coach “Beard” Thanks AdventHealth Medical Staff for Saving his Life

"Coach Beard" returns to say thank you to the AdventHealth team one year after COVID sent him to the hospital fighting for his life. This piece is courtesy AdventHealth TV, the Central Florida Division’s internal newscast for team members.

This full-circle moment (in the video above) between former COVID-19 patient Terry Greear, 43, speech pathologist Tanna Harris, and the physician who saved his life, Scott Silvestry, MD, ran the gamut of emotions, from surprise to elation and happy tears when Greear and his family returned to AdventHealth to surprise the team one year after he was in the hospital fighting for his life.

“It was important to me to come back and thank Dr. Silvestry and the team who saved my life in the most genuine way. I wanted them to see me healthy and to know that there isn’t a day that goes by that their hard work, amazing care, compassion and dedication isn’t appreciated by myself, my wife and kids,” Greear said. “I wouldn’t be here today without them.”

Greear is a local physical education teacher and soccer coach and is affectionately known as “Coach Beard” – a nickname he earned years ago by one of his kindergarteners who had trouble pronouncing his last name.

He spent 72 days in the hospital battling the virus, 27 of which were on ECMO at AdventHealth Orlando. The real lifesaver for Coach Beard became the medical team responsible for administering his clinical care. To learn more about AdventHealth’s ECMO team and Terry’s story of overcoming the odds, click here.

“To feel the gratitude and know that have that we have impacted a family in such as positive way is an incredible feeling. It makes what we do and the sacrifices we make worthwhile,” said Dr. Silvestry, cardiothoracic transplant surgeon and the AdventHealth Orlando surgical director of thoracic transplant programs and co-medical director of the cardiovascular institute.

Last fall, AdventHealth Orlando received “The ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support” from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). As a Designated Platinum Level Center of Excellence, ELSO’s highest level of achievement, AdventHealth is nationally recognized for its exceptional results in delivering ECMO. Coach Beard was one of the patients Silvestry and his team saved with this treatment, giving him a second chance at life with his family.

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