A Brockville, Ont., man is thanking doctors and nurses for saving his life after battling COVID-19 for nearly two weeks.
“The doctors saved my life,” said Kosta Dariotis via a video call with family.
In Early April, Dariotis began feeling severe nausea and stomach pains but thought he had come down with food positioning, according to his family.
As his health began to worsen, he was rushed to Brockville General Hosptial, where it was found that he contracted COVID-19 and was fully sedated into an induced coma.
“I didn’t get the call until he was in the hospital. He didn’t want to worry us,” said his sister, Maria Dariotis, via Skype.
The Dariotis have run the popular diner, TinCap Restaurant, in the Brockville area for decades. When Maria received the news of her brother’s illness, she took to social media, updating the community on Kosta’s status.
The posts were shared hundreds of times, and people from across Canada joined in to wish Kosta their best wishes.
The exterior of TinCap restaurant on County Road 29 is covered in big block letters that read, “WE LOVE YOU KOSTA” and “KICK COVID’S BUTT,” along with dozens of heartfelt handwritten notes posted to the windows.
Kosta’s positive case is just one of the hundreds identified in the region. The area of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark has seen some of the provinces highest numbers of positive tests and deaths per capita.
According to newly-released data, the region has a total of 274 cases and 38 deaths.
“Seventy-two of them are all from the north, and that is directly influenced by Ottawa having a significant number of people with COVID-19,” said Dr. Paula Stewart, medical officer of health for the region.
In Brockville, where Kosta likely contracted the virus, the health unit has identified 18 cases.
On Thursday, Kosta awoke from his medically induced coma, according to Maria. Hours later, he video-called Maria at her home in Boston to give her a personal update on his health.
“I just don’t think you realize how much you love someone until you go through something like this and then talk to them again,” said Maria, her eyes beginning to water.
She went on to say that her brother exercises almost every day, eats healthy and rarely gets sick, which she says is not someone that falls into the common casualty category of COVID-19.
She’s hoping her brother’s story will serve as a reminder that this virus affects many people, and it’s important to use all precautions.
On Tuesday afternoon, Maria said her brother was removed from the ICU at Brockville General Hospital and moved to another spot in the hospital to recover. After a quick nap, he filmed a short 20-second video thanking the community for its support.
“I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers; it’s been overwhelming,” said Kosta.
The hospital posted this picture of Kosta and staff to its Facebook page on Tuesday evening.