Today marked a joyous day. John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks, has recovered from the COVID-19 virus and returned to Huntington Hospital to thank the doctors, nurses and staff for the excellent care they gave him so he could recover from the virus. John’s recovery offers hope to many who struggle with the virus as well as the frontline workers who treat patients with the virus.
John knows how fortunate his is in recovering from the COVID-19 virus. After all, people
with Down syndrome are ten times more likely to die from the COVID-19 virus as the general population. As a person with Down syndrome and a a leader of his business, John and his family knew to take extra precautions. Despite those efforts, John contracted the virus just before Christmas. By Christmas morning, John struggled to breathe and his oxygen levels plummeted to dangerous levels. His family rushed John to Huntington Hospital, where he was admitted with full blown COVID pneumonia and an uncertain prognosis.
Dr. John Anderson and Nurse Patricia Coffey began treating John with an aggressive regimen of high-flow oxygen, steroids, Remdisivir, antibiotics and a blood thinner. They paid attention to the particular needs of John’s Down syndrome. And they made a crucial decision to allow John’s father, Mark, to stay with John in his hospital room. For several days, the pneumonia worsened until the treatments allowed John to turn the corner and move towards recovery. A week later, on New Year’s Day, John left the hospital and today is fully recovered. He is back leading his online Dance Parties and running hard as part of his Special Olympics snowshoe team.
John said, “I am so thankful for the care I got at Huntington Hospital. I was very sick, and they took care of me until I got better. Everyone was so nice to me.”
To say thank you, John presented the Huntington Hospital staff with over 100 pairs of socks as well as packages of the Skittles that he puts in every package.
Dr. Anderson said, “This makes us so happy. As John began to recover, this thoughtfulness and gratitude brought cheer to everyone in the critical care unit. To see him so healthy makes us al happy.”
Dr. Nick Fitterman, Executive Director of Huntington Hospital said, “Throughout the pandemic, Huntington Hospital’s employees have worked tirelessly to provide world-class care to those suffering from this abhorrent virus. We are grateful to John and Mark for recognizing us with this generous donation and we look forward to sporting our socks throughout the hospital.”
Dr. Jim Hendrix, Chief Scientific Officer at the Lumind IDSC Foundation, which supports research into Down syndrome, said, “It is important to recognize the much greater risk that adults with Down syndrome face with the COVID-19 virus. A 40 year-old person with Down syndrome presents much more like an 80 year-old person in the general population.”
Mark X. Cronin, John’s father, said, “The staff at Huntington Hospital was aware of the additional risks that John faced and developed a treatment plan to ensure that John received the best possible care. We are so grateful.”
Mr. Cronin said, “We particularly want to recognize and thank Huntington Hospital for their compassionate care in allowing me to stay with John during his hospital stay. This decision provided John with important support and aided the medical staff in their treatment of John. This decision had a vital impact on John’s recovery and helped him overcome the higher risk faced by people with Down syndrome who contract the COVID-19 virus.”
Dr. Thomas Buckley, Ed.D., Director of Population Health for YAI in New York, said, “I have witnessed so many people with Down syndrome that tried to fight the virus alone in the hospital but succumb to the isolation, loneliness, and loss of purpose. It is truly notable that John’s Dad was able to stay with John throughout his inpatient treatment. I believe that made a significant difference in his recovery.”
Mr. Cronin said, “Huntington Hospital stands as a beacon of compassionate care because of their willingness to allow a support person to stay with a patient with an intellectual disability. These decisions are challenging as the hospital must balance protecting patients and staff from community members that may harbor COVID-19 against the special needs of vulnerable patients. It demonstrates the human side of medical treatment that we urge all hospitals to follow.”
Kandi Pickard, President & CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society, said, “We work with people with Down syndrome across the country and have found that allowing a family member or caregiver to stay with the patient makes a significant difference in the outcomes for those patients. We are grateful that John and his family were treated with such respect and care during his stay at Huntington Hospital.”
Today’s donation from John’s Crazy Socks includes their Healthcare Superhero, Firefighter Tribute Socks (because Dr. Anderson is a volunteer firefighter), and EMT Tribute Socks. These socks raise money for COVID-19 relief as well as the Huntington Community First Aid Squad.