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Great Plains Health employees celebrate a COVID-19 patient’s recovery: from ventilator to discharge

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Contact: Megan McGown

CONTACT: Megan McGown, marketing manager | Office: 308.568.7531

North Platte, Neb - Great Plains Health employees lined the hallway to celebrate Tuesday afternoon as a patient was discharged after treatment for COVID-19 that included five days on a ventilator.

Fifty-six year old Oscar Orellana of Dawson County was cheered by more than 50 Great Plains Health employees as he was wheeled out of the hospital after 13 days in the COVID unit. Orellana gave written consent for the send-off and was happily shouting “te amo” – I love you – to the staff as they wheeled him to his waiting family members. Wearing a Great Plains Health “together, we will rise” t-shirt, Orellana was also carrying 13 roses given to him by one of his nurses, Maddie Hoaglund. “He spent 13 days away from his wife and roses are her favorite flower,” said Hoaglund.

“This was a very sick patient and we are pleased to be celebrating his successful recovery,” said Mel McNea, Great Plains Health chief executive officer. “It is also a time to recognize the ongoing commitment and dedication of our staff members who are working the front lines during this COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration of Oscar’s discharge is confirmation that our hospital and team members are offering the best COVID-19 care to members of our region.”

Orellana will self-quarantine at home as he continues to recover from the disease and gain strength.

As of May 4, there have been 6,083 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska and 78 deaths. In Lincoln County, there have been 33 positive cases and 2 deaths.


About Great Plains Health

Based in North Platte, Nebraska, Great Plains Health is a fully accredited, 116-bed acute-care regional medical center serving western and central Nebraska, northern Kansas and southern South Dakota. With 90 physicians representing nearly 30 medical specialties, the Great Plains Health system offers advanced healthcare including heart and vascular, cancer and orthopedic surgery services. The system employs approximately 1,087 employees and serves a geographic area spanning approximately 67,832 square miles in 38 counties.

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to an American College of Surgeons accredited cancer center, primary stroke center and level II bariatric surgery program. Great Plains Health was named a Top Rural Hospital in 2019 by The Leapfrog Group, making it the first and only hospital in Nebraska to be named as a top hospital. For more information, visit