As communities and businesses around the nation prepare to open, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Grayson County. And, on the brink of the county announcing the 31st case of the virus in the area, one Denison resident was celebrating a milestone that nearly 750 Texans have not.

Grayson County’s first COVID-19 patient was released from Texoma Medical Center Wednesday. As the patient exited the hospital, Texoma Medical Center staff celebrated the recovery of Eshmaeil Babahhmadi with applause.

Privacy laws normally keep Grayson County Health Department and area medical professionals from being able to say very much about each of the cases specifically, as of last week four of the first COVID-19 patients were still in the hospital as of last week.

However, Babahhmadi and his wife are now home.

Babahhmadi is a local resident and spent 35 days in the hospital’s dedicated COVID-19 unit, with 22 of those days spent on a ventilator.

"Mr. Babahhmadi was the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Grayson County," a news release from the hospital said. "During his hospital stay, Mr. Babahhmadi was treated by a team of providers that included intensivists, infectious disease specialists, respiratory therapists and critical care nurses. We are pleased to announce that he has recovered from COVID-19 and his rehabilitation will continue at the TMC Reba McEntire Center for Rehabilitation. Mr. Babahhmadi’s release was a welcome site to hospital staff as they cheered and clapped for him during his release."

While Grayson County has seen no COVID-19-related deaths, there have been more than 700 deaths in Texas and more than 27,000 confirmed cases. In the United States, there have been more than one million confirmed cases and more than 50,000 deaths from the virus.

But, Babahhmadi and his wife, who he was reunited with Wednesday, are on the list of more than 12,000 recovered Texans and more than 127,000 recovered Americans.

Hospital personnel also wanted to make sure the public is aware that TMC’s Emergency Departments are available to evaluate and care for patients safely 24/7. TMC plans to continue door screenings at all facility entrances, and will keep current visitation guidelines in effect until no longer deemed necessary.

"This disease has impacted every single one of us, and we are living through something we never thought we would. It’s brought us together and made us stronger as a health department team," Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez said last week.

Ortez was not the only one praising Grayson County’s response to the pandemic. Grayson County officials speak about the community response at each city council and commissioner’s court meeting.

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