BOSTON (CBS) – During a difficult week for the city and country, and after months in the fight against coronavirus, Boston celebrated an emotional milestone Tuesday. The final two patients at the Boston Hope field hospital were released to go home healthy after beating COVID-19.
Joseph Murphy of East Weymouth quietly took in the moment as he was wheeled out, before waving his arms joyfully, letting his team know what he really thought of their care and his amazing recovery. The 68-year-old spent 36 days at the makeshift medical facility inside the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. After hugs and high fives, and in true Boston fashion, Murphy led a quick Neil Diamond singalong of “Sweet Caroline” before catching his ride home.
On this final day, doctors and nurses smiled through their masks, with tears in their eyes, cheering on the last patient to leave. Oger Julien waved his arms triumphantly on his way home to Malden. The 78-year-old spent more than a week there, but is now the perfect picture of health, happiness, and hope.
Each of the 700 patients treated at Boston Hope was COVID-19 positive. The facility also housed hundreds of the city’s homeless. The 1,000-bed field hospital is a partnership between the state, the city, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless.
Boston Hope was established as a post-acute Alternate Care Site (ACS) to provide sub-acute care and respite for COVID-19 positive people in the greater Boston area. The purpose of this site is to relieve pressure on the area hospitals by transferring their non-acute coronavirus patients so that they can focus their resources on acute care.
Boston Hope’s doors will close for now, but the facility stay in place at the BCEC in case it is needed in the future.