Matthew (Matt) Ferro has come a very long way. In February 2021, before vaccines were widely available, Matt contracted COVID-19. He was 51, active and had no underlying conditions. What seemed like a mild case at first ended up getting severe quickly.
Within three weeks of his first symptom and after receiving monoclonal antibody treatment at Doylestown Hospital, he had to be put on a ventilator. Doctors told his wife to expect the worst — that he wouldn’t survive.
But he thankfully did. Matt’s story is here.
When Matt was coping with the mental aftermath from experiencing what he did, he tried to find a local support group for COVID survivors. He couldn’t find one.
Then one day, Matt was watching the local news and saw a story about a survivor from Philadelphia who was on a ventilator for months and was finally discharged. He learned his name was Rodney Wescott and found him on Facebook. He reached out to Rodney and luckily, got a response.
Connected Through COVID
That first connection spurred many more between the two survivors. Soon an online support group was formed between them and several others called COVID V. Conquerors (the V stands for ventilator) as well as a website (www.COVIDvConquerors.com). The group had their first fundraising event on Nov. 28 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps called the Annual Walk Up the Steps where survivors and their supporters inspiringly walked the famed “Rocky” steps to the top with the theme song playing along.
“I got the chance to meet other people like me virtually in Zoom meetings,” Matt said while speaking at the event. “COVID V. Conquerors helped me connect with people. I learned we have similar pains and some of us have unique pains.”
During his speech, Matt credited Doylestown Hospital with saving his life by securing an ECMO (life support) machine at a city hospital. “While that was the tool that saved my life, it was the people who made it happen,” he emphasized.
Not only was Matt’s life saved, he’s made enough progress through rehab and on his own that his lungs are now completely back to normal functioning. Doctors told him he’d likely only get back to about 90 percent of normal lung function and it would probably take a year. But he beat that prediction, too.
“We all so proud of Matt,” said his wife, Donna, who was part of “Matt’s Angels,” the team who came to support him and all the other survivors at the event. “He worked very hard to get to this point… He did it!”
For more information about COVID V. Conquerors, visit COVIDvConquerors.com.
About Doylestown Health and Doylestown Hospital
Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of all members of the local and regional community. Doylestown Hospital, the flagship to Doylestown Health, has 247 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. An independent nonprofit health system, Doylestown Health is dedicated to providing innovative, patient-centered care for all ages.
About Emergency Services
When medical emergencies arise, patients of all ages can count on the skilled physicians and specialized nurses of Doylestown Health Emergency Services. Fully equipped with private treatment areas, critical care suites and a designated pediatric/minor acute area, the Emergency department can handle any emergency while offering patients confidentiality and comfort. Dedicated resources for specialized care include the Woodall Chest Pain Center and a certified Stroke Resource Center, as well as affiliations with Jefferson Expert Teleconsulting and Temple MedFlight.