Navy veteran released from Sarasota Memorial after 49-day battle with COVID-19

Local News

SARASOTA (WFLA) — After 49 long days battling COVID-19, a Navy veteran and longtime pediatrician was released from Sarasota Memorial Health and reunited with his wife.

“Dr. Steve” Hefler spent 25 days “fighting for his life” in SMH’s COVID-19 critical care unit. He was then transferred to a step-down respiratory care unit before he moved on to the rehab unit for two weeks regaining strength and mobility.

The hospital staff at SMH lined Hefler’s path to the exit doors, clapping for him as he embraced his wife for the first time in what probably felt like years.


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