CHI St. Luke’s Health—The Woodlands Hospital Discharges Patton Village Police Officer After Being Hospitalized for Over a Month

By: Vanessa Astros
| Published 04/15/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- CHI St. Luke’s Health—The Woodlands Hospital discharged today the first patient with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in Montgomery County. Patton Village Police Officer Chris Hernandez was admitted to the hospital on March 8 with severe flu-like symptoms. The clinical staff at The Woodlands Hospital quickly identified, isolated, and treated the patient while following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hernandez was put on a ventilator due to his condition and was treated with a therapy known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). ECMO works by helping oxygenate blood outside the body so blood doesn't need to transfer through damaged or filled lungs. Instead, tubes carry blood from the body to an external artificial lung that removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen, at which point an artificial heart pumps the blood back into the body. This was the first COVID-19 case in Texas treated with ECMO.

In a very touching and emotional sendoff filled with laughter and cheers, Hernandez thanked the staff at the Woodlands Hospital for saving his life. “I can’t express how grateful I am for every single one of you. You guys saved my life. I know God had everybody in the right place and I came to the right facility and he empowered you guys to make all the right choices.”

Members of the Patton Village, Roman Forrest, and Splendora Police Departments were on hand to celebrate Hernandez’ release. Also in attendance were members of the Montgomery County Constables, the Texas Department of Public Safety, The Woodlands Fire Department, and the Montgomery County EMS.

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