Staffers at the Pavilion at Queens rehab center are happy to have one less patient with the discharge of Frank Santos, who was near death upon his arrival and went home to his family this week.
Santos—a Rego Park resident—was admitted to the Pavilion on the day before Christmas Eve in 2014, when an epileptic seizure left him unresponsive.
Santos remained unresponsive for his first three months in the rehab center, unable to speak or answer staff inquiries on his mood or state of being. He was kept on a ventilator to move air in and out of his lungs, had a tube placed in his windpipe to provide an airway and underwent regular dialysis sessions.
“He went through so much,” said Marina Dryer, a respiratory therapist familiar with Santos’ ordeal.
Thanks to the treatment of Pavilion staffers, Santos is much more alert now and feeling a great deal better.
After eight months he was able to get off the ventilator, and his tracheal tube was finally removed two weeks ago. He still has trouble speaking because of the hole in his windpipe where the tube once helped his breathe, but he is mobile again with the aid of a walker and is eating on his own as well.
“I’m going home,” said Santos, who turned 75 in September.
He was emotional when speaking of the staff at the Pavilion who were there throughout his recovery, tearing up and posing for pictures with each one in turn.
“They are so good,” he said.
Pavilion Administrator Richard Sherman said that Santos regaining his health is a testament to his devotion to his wife, who had bought a bedroom set to welcome him home to a new beginning.
“It’s a slow process but he never gave up. The staff never gave up,” Sherman said.