COVID 'patient zero' reunites with hospital staff 3 years later

Gregg Garfield had a 1% chance of survival when he became one of the first patients in the U.S. to contract COVID-19 at the onset of the pandemic three years ago. 

In Feb. 2020, Garfield was at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center after he reported feeling sick upon return from vacation in Italy. An unknown virus was attacking his major organs. 

Garfield spent 64 days in the hospital. He was on a ventilator for months. 

"Nobody knew what to do and they did everything they could," Garfield said. "I was very fortunate to be here… [and now] to be living my life normally."


At that time, Garfield was also the first COVID patient for the Burbank hospital.

Critical care specialist Daniel Dea, M.D., called Garfield the hospital's "miracle patient."

Garfield returned to the hospital Monday to commemorate National Nurses Week and reunite with hospital staff and his care team to say a special thank-you.