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Press Release

Long Island Dad Gets Best Father’s Day Ever After Surviving COVID and Finally Being Able to Spend Time with His Newborn Son

17 June, 2020

Grateful Patient Has Heartfelt Reunion with St. Francis Medical Team that Saved Him

ROSLYN, NY, June 17, 2020 – Tony Thomas couldn’t see his firstborn son when his wife gave birth. The 39-year-old New Hyde Park registered nurse was battling for his life after being diagnosed with COVID. He spent 39 days at St. Francis Hospital – 28 of which he was intubated. But just days before Father’s Day, Tony along with his wife, their newborn baby and two young daughters were reunited with the medical team that saved him.

“It was my mission to save him,” said Jeffrey Wolf, M.D., a St. Francis pulmonologist who became Tony’s doctor his first day back at work after recovering from COVID himself. “There was no rhyme or reason to this case. He was a health care worker in good shape, but sicker than ever. It was a great victory to see him recover and something our team really needed.”

The avid sports fan lost 40 pounds while in the hospital. But when Dr. Wolf saw him for a follow up visit, he says it brought tears to his eyes knowing his youngest COVID patient had survived.

“This is truly an amazing story and a credit to the entire St. Francis team that saved this devoted father of three,” said Charles L. Lucore, M.D., MBA, President of St. Francis Hospital. “We are thrilled he can spend Father’s Day with his family.”

Tony’s wife Riya, also a nurse, could not see her newborn baby after he was born. At one point the entire family had the coronavirus. They are excited to kick off the celebration of this year’s extra special holiday with a medical team that’s become their second family- the team that granted them their biggest wish - the ability to spend Father’s Day all together at home. 

Contact: Rosemary Gomez, 516-563-7965,