Josh Penson walked out of Floyd Medical Center on his own power Friday, after spending nearly two months hospitalized with COVID-19. His wife, Tiffany Penson, credited Dr. Daniel Valancius with saving her husband's life and said other caregivers also played a key role in his recovery.
“Everything they have done, it works. He's proof that it works. Dr. Valancius saved his life," she said.
Penson, a Floyd County resident, was overcome with emotion has he left the front entrance to be greeted by a throng of friends and family wearing “Pray for Josh" T-shirts. He thanked the crowd and walked over to say a simple but emotional thank you to Floyd staff members who gathered outside on the sidewalk.
Tiffany said her husband was at Floyd for about three days when it was clear he needed more intensive treatment.
“Dr. Valancius saved his life by sending him to Piedmont, by finding him a room, by acting fast," she said. At Piedmont, Penson was hooked up to a machine that helped both his heart and lungs overcome the strain put on them by COVID-19. He spent two weeks there before returning to Floyd Medical Center.
“Then they brought him back here and started working with him," she said. “I think he was even doing rehab before he left the COVID unit. And here we are 57 days later, and we get to come out of the hospital."
Dr. Valancius, a hospitalist at Floyd, has been heavily involved with the treatment of COVID-19 patients. His recommendation that a patient be tested for the virus resulted in Floyd treating its first COVID-19 patient in March.