COVID-19 Recovery Story!

May 28, 2020

Recently, Western Plains Medical Complex (Western Plains) celebrated another successful COVID-19 recovery! On April 29, 41-year-old construction worker Arturo Leon-Ortiz entered the Emergency Room at Western Plains Medical Complex experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. After spending 24 days in the hospital – 20 of which were in the intensive care unit (ICU) - he was able to return home in good health on Friday, May 22. 


“The ER has seen a large number of patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently testing positive. While most of these patients were able to be discharged home quickly, some, like Mr. Leon-Ortiz have been more critically ill with serious complications,” said Western Plains-Team Health ER physician Stephen Miley, MD. “Our team has pulled together in the face of this pandemic to care for our patients and community in extraordinary ways. Dodge City is very blessed to have a dedicated hospital like Western Plains here that’s able to take great care of our residents.”


As part of the hospital’s treatment of COVID-19 patients, Western Plains diligently enrolled in the Mayo Clinic US Expanded Access Program for Convalescent Plasma. Convalescent plasma therapy which transfuses patients with plasma collected from a recovered COVID-19 patient, is being utilized for individual patients with COVID-19 who meet certain criteria. Leon-Ortiz was the first patient at Western Plains to receive convalescent plasma, and upon receiving it, his caregivers saw significant improvements in his case.


Raul Lastimosa, MD, a Western Plains hospitalist, who was part of Leon-Ortiz’s care team, said, “I’m so happy Arturo’s home. Everyone worked so hard as a team. I’m so very proud of our team here at Western Plains, most especially the nursing staff, respiratory therapists, occupational therapist, case management – everyone - I’m so very proud!” said Raul Lastimosa, MD. 


Arturo’s journey to recovery has been strenuous and long. He gives his credit to his medical providers at Western Plains. With a smile, he said, “I’m so grateful for everyone here, they treated me like I was family. It was difficult to be in the hospital alone, but everyone has been so nice here. I’m excited to go home so I can exercise and continue to get stronger! Gracias!”


After a weekend at home, Arturo said he feels good and is spending his time exercising and getting stronger each and every day!