The images of videos filming on social networks showed Herman Bern, one of the country’s best-known businessmen, wearing pajamas, leaning on a walker, surrounded by a team of doctors, receiving the best news of his life: “the second test COVID-19 is negative, “said Lillian Tang, an intensivist.
The 70-year-old waited for the test results with particular optimism. “I was hoping to come out negative because I am very positive,” Bern told La Estrella de Panamá . After fifty days confined in the Paitilla Hospital, infected with the new coronavirus, he was ready to go home.
Bern acknowledged that he was close to being part of the COVID-19 death statistics in the country. “I don’t know what the doctors have done … I’m alive!” He exclaimed excitedly.
The businessman lived the most critical moments of his life in the intensive care room, for two weeks in a coma, with mechanical ventilation. “The first fifteen days was very, very bad. Every day, we thought he was going to die,” Tang said.
On March 21, 2020, rumors of his death spread like wildfire on social media. One morning a crisis caused his right lung to collapse and he put 25% to work on his left.
The good wishes for the health of the businessman were spread through social networks. “Hermán Bern is a fighter: he is going to do it. My family wishes him all the best,” José Raúl Mulino, former Minister of Security of Panama, said through his Twitter account on March 23, 2020.
Bern, who founded the Panamanian hotel and real estate sector Empresas Bern in the late 1970s, fought the deadly virus and is now one of the nearly 900 recovered the country registers.
Julio Sandoval, national coordinator of intensivist doctors, who is one of the specialists in the first row fighting against the new coronavirus, explained that patients have started to save themselves since they started using steroids accompanied by heparins.
Intensive care providers are the last link between the life and death of a COVID-19 infected patient. “We don’t like the death of a single patient,” said Sandoval.
Jackie Bern de Mena, daughter of the businessman, deeply thanked the doctors and nurses for taking care of him and restoring his father to health. “Our family is eternally grateful to all the doctors and nurses, especially Augusto Hernández, Julio Sandoval, Lillian Tang and Eduardo Prado, who were at his side as angels,” he posted on Twitter.
Other network users shared the Bern’s joy. “Miracles exist. We are very happy and moved with this great news. The medical team has been wonderful …”, commented Marisol Guisado, from Panama in Positivo. “I embrace Herman Bern and his entire family for their miraculous victory in overcoming COVID-19,” wrote Roberto Eisenmann, businessman and founder of the newspaper La Prensa.
“I am ready to go to the streets,” said the businessman, whose company has built nearly 10,000 buildings, housing estates and shopping malls amid applause from doctors and nurses.
At 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020, he was discharged, at a time when the new coronavirus has left more than two hundred fatalities in Panama.