Patient reflects COVID-19 recovery journey at NH hospital

MANCHESTER, N.H. — It was mid-March of last year, as the world was coming to grips with the onset of a global pandemic when Mark Hagopian realized he was right in the middle of it.

“I went downhill, I had a temperature, high temperature...chills,” said Hagopian.

He was admitted to the Elliot Hospital in Manchester as the very first COVID-19 patient.

“Two days in the ER, they ended up moving me to the ICU and put me to sleep for almost three weeks,” said Hagopian.

The staff at the Elliot and hospitals across the nation had to go into lockdown with an incredibly fast learning curve.

“Everything changed just as he arrived. It’s interesting in the 15 months since they forgot how much the recommendations were changing. I don’t know if I would say hourly but at least daily,” said Dr. Greg Baxter – President of the Elliot Health System.

It was touch and go, but Hagopian survived thanks to an army of over 170 nurses and physicians dedicated to his care.

“They were obsessed with keeping me alive,” said Hagopian.

Finally, over a year later, an emotional reunion at the Elliot Hospital.

“A celebration of both Marks personal journey – with some reflection that many lives have been disrupted and some lost,” said Dr. Baxter.

Thank you was just a start. Hagopian made pins for them all.

“I don’t know if you can see it, but it says thank you to my Elliot hospital superheroes,” said Hagopian.

Grateful for being led down the road to recovery for him and so many others.

“Some cautious optimism that perhaps the summer coming will perhaps look like the summer we have thought about for a year,” said Dr. Baxter.

Mark’s road was bumpier than others but made softer thanks to the critical care he received.

“The remarkable thing about those ICU nurses is that they put their lives in harm’s way for mine, and I’ll never forget that,” said Hagopian.

To give back, Hagopian has started a COVID-19 family relief fund to help families and patients who felt the immense and ongoing impact of COVID-19.

For those interested in donating to the COVID-10 family relief fund, click here.

Funds raised will support ongoing health-related or financial challenges of those who have experienced COVID-19.

100% of donations will make a direct impact on patients and families.

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