EDISON, N.J. – Hackensack Meridian Health this week celebrated the full recovery and discharge of its 5,000th COVID-19 patient across its network of 17 hospitals.

On the afternoon of May 5, doctors, nurses, and medical personnel lined the halls of JFK Medical Center in Edison and the theme from ‘Rocky’ played on the overhead speaker as Angel Rojos was ‘clapped-out.’ Rojos spent 26 days at JFK Medical Center where he was on a ventilator and extubated.

“[Mr. Rojos’] length of stay is not atypical for patients who become critically ill with COVID,” said Chief Hospital Executive Amie Thornton. “[His] ability to be successfully exubated and fully recover to be discharged home is an excellent outcome. He was very fortunate.”

Sign Up for Hackensack Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

As of press time, said Thornton, there are still approximately 170 acute inpatients at JFK being treated for COVID-19 and while the number of new COVID-19 cases has dropped significantly, there remains a flow of new patients diagnosed with COVID, including some requiring hospitalization.

“In addition, the average length of stay for the subset of patients requiring hospitalization can be quite long,” she said. “As a result, the COVID-19 outbreak remains a significant demand on hospitals throughout New Jersey. We encourage everyone to continue practicing social distancing and follow the governor’s orders in order to prevent against a spike in new cases.”