Northwest Community Hospital discharges its 2,000th COVID-19 patient

  • More than 90 doctors, nurses and support staff at Northwest Community Hospital honor Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect as the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged by the Arlington Heights hospital.

      More than 90 doctors, nurses and support staff at Northwest Community Hospital honor Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect as the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged by the Arlington Heights hospital. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect talks to the media Tuesday at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, where he was honored as its 2,000th discharged COVID-19 patient. Nurse Jenny Rydzewski helped usher him down the gauntlet of supporters.

      Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect talks to the media Tuesday at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, where he was honored as its 2,000th discharged COVID-19 patient. Nurse Jenny Rydzewski helped usher him down the gauntlet of supporters. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Northwest Community Hospital nurse Jenny Rydzewski wheels Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect, who flashes a thumbs-up to hospital staff as he's honored for being the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged.

      Northwest Community Hospital nurse Jenny Rydzewski wheels Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect, who flashes a thumbs-up to hospital staff as he's honored for being the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect talks to the media Northwest Community Hospital, where he was honored as the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged by the Arlington Heights hospital.

      Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect talks to the media Northwest Community Hospital, where he was honored as the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged by the Arlington Heights hospital. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/19/2021 6:12 PM

Doctors, nurses and support staffers cheered, waved and whistled Tuesday as Charles "Chuck" Rizzo of Mount Prospect was wheeled down the long hallway leading to Northwest Community Hospital's main exit.

More than 90 people joined the fanfare honoring Rizzo as the 2,000th COVID-19 patient discharged by the Arlington Heights hospital.

 

"It's remarkable," Rizzo said. "But you know what, it's not about me. It's about the people here. They're just so wonderful. God bless them all. They really treated me well."

He spent the last five days at the hospital after deciding to get help when he had respiratory issues and lost his sense of smell.

Rizzo, who is retired after working 35 years at UPS, said he wasn't sure where he contracted COVID-19.

"You have to be cautious; you have to have that mask on all the time," he said. "You want to make sure that you're protecting everybody else as well. You don't want your loved ones to get sick."

Rizzo plans to recuperate at home before he spends time with his grandchildren.

"Nobody, nobody should have to go through this," he said. "This (COVID) is a terrible thing, and I'm just very grateful for the people here that helped me."

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