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Andreaís Story: From PCA to COVID-19 Patient and Now to Home!

Updated: 5/20/2020

Andrea Holloway, patient care assistant at Buffalo General Medical Center, has been a member of the Kaleida Health family since last year. Her work family is a little more literal for her as her uncle works at Oishei Children's Hospital and another relative works at Conventus. However, Andrea treats all of her co-workers and patients just like they were her real family.

Her co-workers love working with her. They know that they can count on her to always go above and beyond. "We work together on a floor with patients that typically have neural problems. This can cause them to be a little disoriented at times, but Andrea just has such a calming presence. She puts patients at ease. Sheís just great to work with, very caring and very understanding," said co-worker, interventional nurse, Hope Daniel.

Andrea continued to come to work, day in and day out. However, that all changed in late April when she began feeling ill. Andrea tested positive for coronavirus and was hospitalized at Buffalo General Medical Center on April 24.

"I knew something was off, and of course I felt a little uneasy. We all want to do our best to limit exposure and protect others, so I had been diligently self-monitoring, and I spiked a temperature. I knew I had to seek out a test; itís the responsible thing to do," Andrea explained.

Unfortunately, like many, her battle with COVID-19 was not an easy one and is still ongoing. "Itís really different being on the other side. Itís one thing to work here, but I never thought Iíd be a patient here. The pain I was experiencing was almost indescribable. But, I am so lucky to have had my team at Buffalo General Medical Center taking care of me. I knew I was in good hands and had to do my best to fight each and every day to try and beat this virus," Andrea said.

On Wednesday, May 20, Andrea was released from Buffalo General Medical Center after spending nearly 19 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). "Andrea is a fighter. She really fought hard, and we are all so proud of her," said Dr. Jamie Nadler, critical care physician at Buffalo General Medical Center who oversaw her treatment. Andrea spent time in the Emergency Department, the 13th floor, the 16th floor, the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) and in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). She noted, "Every step of the way, I received only the best care from the most compassionate people. All of the nurses were so great, kept my family updated, and showed me how to use the iPad to keep me connected with my family. That meant so much to me. It made me feel less alone in this battle."

As Andrea left the hospital, her co-workers waved goodbye with signs of support, flowers and cheers. Not only was Andrea finally able to head home, but she was also the 200th COVID-19 patient discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center.

"Each patient that recovers from COVID-19 and is released from the hospital is cause for celebration," said Chris Lane, president, Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute. "Our staff has done incredible work in caring for these often very very sick patients and getting them back to the point of being able to return home to their loved ones. It was especially heartening to see one of our own get back to her home and family."

Andrea added, "I know I still have a long way to go with my recovery, but Iím so glad to finally be going home. It has been so long since Iíve seen my daughter in person, and I am just so lucky to be able to see her again. Thank you to everyone at Buffalo General who helped me get back on my feet. Grateful does not even begin to describe it."

The entire Kaleida Health team has shown such courage during these trying times. "Although this pandemic is like nothing we have ever faced before, our strength together as a united Kaleida Health team has been incredible to watch. Our entire team has stepped up at every challenge this virus has thrown at us and, together, we will remain #KaleidaStrong," added Lane.