In a ray of hope amid the COVID-19 crisis, an enormously popular physician, Dr. James Pruden, was released Tuesday from the hospital where he works, almost a month after he was diagnosed with the deadly virus.
Cheering and chanting, staff members at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center lined the lobby as Pruden was wheeled out of the hospital where just a few weeks ago he was placed in isolation in the critical care unit. During his departure, co-workers held signs that said, “We Love You, Dr. Pruden — Heroes Work Here.”
“All we hear about are the people dying. We don’t hear about people recovering,” said the Rev. Kenneth Clayton, pastor of St. Luke’s Baptist Church. “This tells us that not everybody who tests positive will die.”
Pruden’s recovery was particularly meaningful for Paterson because of the role he has played in community health programs in the city, officials and community leaders said.
“It’s not just his job, it’s his calling,” Clayton said.
Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott, who oversees the city’s EMT services, called Pruden’s release “inspirational” for first responders dealing with what he called the “carnage” caused by the cornonavirus outbreak.
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