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Cone Health's 100th coronavirus patient heads home from hospital

Luis Teodoro was greeted by cheering medical staff at Cone Health's Green Valley campus when he walked through the building's front doors.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Triad hospitals are celebrating as more of their coronavirus patients head home.

Cone Health sent home its 100th coronavirus patient with a celebration Wednesday.

Luis Teodoro was greeted by cheering medical staff at Cone Health's Green Valley campus when he walked through the building's front doors.

He stood up from his wheelchair and took his first steps outside the hospital. The staff played the 'Rocky' theme song as he walked to the car, but it was hard to hear over the loud cheers and well wishes.

He and his medical team worked hard to get to that point.

"He had gone through quite an experience getting through his illness," said Chief Nursing Officer at Cone Health Green Valley campus Waqiah Ellis. "We were very excited to see him get into his car and drive off with his family because we know that things could have easily gone the other way."

In Rockingham County, UNC Rockingham Health Care held a similar celebration for their first patient to recover Tuesday. 

Robin Barber spent 22 days fighting the virus at the hospital in isolation. 

"I cried and I was so thankful that I had a mask on because cries are usually ugly," said Barber. "It was wonderful. It, it was a humbling experience is what it was."

Both Barber and Teodoro will continue their recoveries at home. Ellis said Cone Health encourages recovering patients to continue to self-isolate after returning home.

Barber said her doctors expect her to stay on oxygen the whole summer.

"When I walked out that door yesterday I didn't leave everything there. It still followed me home. It will affect me, it will affect my husband, it will affect everything in my household," said Barber.

She said paying for home health care, prescriptions and the oxygen are adding up already. She said their stimulus checks will go to paying for all of those parts of her care.

Barber's return home comes as the state prepares to enter phase one of the state's reopening plan. She fears people aren't taking the virus seriously enough.

"This is life-threatening. Had I waited one more day [to go to the hospital], I would not have been able to make that walk to come out of that hospital," said Barber.

She urges people to continue to social distance.

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