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St. Joseph Hospital Helps NCPD Medic Recover from COVID-19

June 18th, 2020
Chris Cammarata

A medic for the Nassau County Police Department, Christopher Cammarata was on the front line at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the father of two went from first responder to patient, testing positive for the virus sweeping across Long Island.

Realizing he needed immediate care, on March 20th Cammarata packed a bag, called family members and drove to Catholic Health Services’s St. Joseph Hospital.

“I had been a patient at St. Joseph prior and chose to go there because of my personal and professional relationships with the staff,” he said. “When I arrived I was brought right in. It was of great comfort to see friendly and familiar faces, even though they were covered by masks.”

During his stay, Cammarata said the medical staff continually checked on him, bringing him protein shakes until he was well enough to eat. Four days after arriving at the hospital, he turned the corner and his symptoms began to subside. However, doctors kept him for two additional days wanting his blood oxygen levels to be 95% or higher.

After six days, doctors cleared Cammarata to return home to continue his recovery. He returned to work on April 14th.

“It felt triumphant to be back,” he said. “I feel like I beat the odds and was so happy to see my fellow medics and police officers.”

Cammarata is thankful for the entire staff at St. Joseph who cared for him, and specifically mentioned– Emergency Department Director of Nursing Allison Lace, Emergency Department Tech Shelly Mills Krezminski, Emergency Department Registered Nurse Ashley Billian and Telemetry Registered Nurse Peter O'Neil – for their efforts in his recovery.

“Everyone was fantastic!” he said. “They treated me like family.”