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San Luis Obispo man gives back after recovering from COVID-19

Ryan and Deanne Harris
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-12 16:50:22-04

San Luis Obispo resident, Ryan Harris, has found a way to give back to the healthcare workers who helped save his life.

Harris and his wife, along with a number of other donors, have put together 750 gift boxes that are being distributed to French Hospital staff members in San Luis Obispo as a show of appreciation.

This past January, Harris was rushed to the emergency room, after an inflammatory response to COVID-19 caused a significant amount of internal bleeding.

At first, his health issue was unclear.

However, his doctor and nurses worked quickly, which -according to Harris - is why he is alive today.

“My wife and I and my family are just so thankful that we found ourselves at French Hospital with people, who not only did their jobs well, but also cared." Harris said. "That made a big difference for me, particularly in the first 48 hours I was there - uncertain about what was going on with me. I think there’s heroes in all kinds of places in our society, but definitely they would qualify, in my book, to be heroes.”

Gift box distributions began Thursday, starting with the nurses in the ICU. Nurses in the department were taken by surprise.

“It’s really fantastic, it really has been a hard year and you know it’s what we do, it was just really sweet of them. We didn’t even see it coming. It was just really wonderful - great surprise,” said Brittany Martinez, ICU nurse at French Hospital.

Inside the boxes were there are a variety of food and self-care items, including cloth compresses, which were hand-sewn by volunteers.