Surviving COVID-19, Giving Thanks

By: Crouse News

COVID-19 survivor Tom Dwyre and Crouse providers

Surrounded by some of the members of the ICU team who cared for him, COVID-19 survivor Tom Dwyre returned to Crouse to express his gratitude. Tom, front and center, met with (clockwise) Irina Onufriychuk RN; Edrin Gera, RRT; ICU Nurse Manager Renee Kirchgraber; Viren Kaul, MD; and David Landsberg, MD.

UPDATE NOV. 11, 2020: COVID-19 activity in our community is on the rise. We urge everyone to protect themselves from acquiring the coronavirus by wearing a mask when in public; socially distancing as much as possible; avoiding large gatherings; and practicing hand hygiene. Learn more on our COVID-19 resource page.

“You are my heroes and I thank you with every fiber of my being.” — Tom Dwyre

Over these past months of the pandemic, we have seen and heard countless stories from patients and families, praising members of our clinical and non-clinical support staff. Working together to provide the best in patient care, despite the enormous challenges and daily changes that come with a pandemic, our team has exemplified expertise, confidence and our signature expression, Carepassion.

Some have said the term ‘heroes’ is becoming overused. We don’t believe that — and neither does COVID-19 survivor Tom Dwyre. After being discharged from Crouse, Tom penned this letter to the editor that appeared on

 To all of you at Crouse Hospital: 

I was admitted to Crouse at 5 p.m. March 29 for symptoms of COVID-19. By 9 p.m., I was already on a ventilator. I can’t begin to convey the emotions one experiences at a time like that. The thought runs through your mind: “Will I leave this place on my own two feet, or will it be the last time I will get to talk to my wife and children?” Since no family members were allowed to be there with me, I couldn’t even hold a familiar hand for reassurance.

As I looked around me before I was placed on the ventilator, the faces of my nurses and doctors were what I thought might be my last images. Although you all had masks and other PPE on your faces, I tried my best to remember names of those at my side, doing everything possible to help me get through this unexpected crisis. I felt fear. I also felt calmness. I could see in the eyes of all of you the determination to do everything possible to help me overcome this virus. I felt like you cared immensely, the way one feels around family.

As I sit home recovering, I’m actually glad that I don’t remember all of your names, or even what you look like. When I walk the neighborhood or go to the local grocery store, every face I see could be one of you. Because of you, I will look at everyone a little differently, and for that, I thank you. If I happen to recognize you someday, the extra smile is for the fact I can’t stop thanking you for what you did for me and the countless others you have helped.

The dictionary defines heroes as “those of distinguished courage and/or ability admired for his or her deeds and noble qualities.” I can’t say it any better. You are my heroes and I thank you with every fiber of my being.


Crouse News is reported by members of our Communications Team.

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