COVID Conqueror: 28-year-old survivor gets epic hospital sendoff

Updated: May. 6, 2020 at 9:37 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s not always a reason to celebrate inside the COVID-19 ICU at Our Lady of the Lake, but this week was different. There were much-needed smiles underneath the masks of everyone who watched 28-year-old Corderiol Young get discharged from the hospital.

“He just keeps asking when is he going to get to go home,” said Dr. Jonathan Richards. “He asked us actually the day that he came in when is he going to get to go home, and it feels good to be able to say today's the day.”

Young spent 13 days fighting to stay alive. He has needed a little extra care his entire life, and the nurses did their best to make him comfortable, drawing pictures on the glass of his room and letting him play with toys.

“He has bonded with the nurses, especially some of our male nurses, and that’s been something that’s been very special to see,” Richards said.

It’s the longest Young had ever been away from his parents. His prognosis was grim when he entered the ICU on April 23.

“When Corderiol came in, his respiratory failure rapidly progressed. He went from being on a small amount of oxygen to oxygen over his face with a mask, and then we probably intubated him within a couple hours of getting to the ICU,” said Kristina Mann, a critical care certified physician assistant.

Young spent more than a week on a ventilator, paralyzed by medication. Teams of doctors and nurses tried every therapy available, including proning, a technique where a patient is flipped onto their belly to help open up the lungs.

He was also the second patient at OLOL to get a plasma transfusion from a patient who'd already recovered from COVID-19. A total of 12 patients have since gotten convalescent plasma.

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Doctors say it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what did the trick, but Young’s recovery is nothing short of incredible.

“We don’t get to see people discharged from the ICU very often,” Mann explained. “Usually, we see them get better just enough to be able to go to another part of the hospital, so to be able to see somebody who is fully recovered and go home with their family, it’s good for morale, it’s good for us. We’re excited.”

The hospital broadcasts a “Code Rocky” over the intercom whenever a COVID conqueror is about to go home. It’s a signal for staff to line the hallways, and Chub, as he’s lovingly called, had no idea what was waiting for him when he rounded the corner to leave the ICU.

What he saw were dozens of doctors, nurses, and other staff cheering him toward his parents waiting at the end of the hall. James and Diana Young say they’re eternally grateful to those healthcare heroes for saving their son’s life and making him smile along the way.

“God seen my son through it, and with the help of the doctors and the nurses, they brought him through it. It’s a blessing y’all,” James said.

Diane Young hugs her son, Corderiol, upon his release from the ICU after 13 days.
Diane Young hugs her son, Corderiol, upon his release from the ICU after 13 days.(WAFB)

For this family from Bayou Goula, those terrifying two weeks are finally over. But Corderiol is just one patient in one unit in one hospital. As he loaded up into the car to leave, his doctors and nurses went right back to work.

“This is serious business. This is a life-threatening thing. Stay home like they asking y’all to,” James pleaded.

It’s exactly what his family plans to do, and they’re thankful for the chance to all go home together.

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