Colleague of Ballad doctor with COVID-19: ‘His symptoms were not very typical but he did the right thing and he quarantined himself’

Local Coronavirus Coverage

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – A colleague of the Ballad Health doctor battling the novel coronavirus Tuesday told News Channel 11 that the doctor did the right thing by going into quarantine after exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient.

Dr. Phillip Thwing said that his colleague, Dr. Daniel Lewis, who has been in the ICU, according to Ballad Health fighting the coronavirus, has been improving over the last few days and more improvement is expected according to constant updates from Lewis’ wife on social media.

“Danny and I are colleagues, he Tacoma Medical Group a little bit after I did, I think, and he and I have shared patients every now and then I used to take care of the Amedisys Hospice, he took over for me when I retired from there there,” Dr. Thwing explained. “He is the chief of medical services for all of Laughlin and Tacoma hospitals, so I know him through that.”

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“I just checked on Facebook, his wife is posting updates periodically and he’s doing better. Still on the ventilator,” Thwing said. “They were able to turn his oxygen levels down. They hope tomorrow to start weening him off the ventilator which will take a couple of days to do.”

“I talked with him, texted with him about that – he knew that he was exposed to a specific patient who had been tested positive for the coronavirus and that’s when he immediately self-quarantined in his basement, I guess he didn’t go to work at all or anything, his nurses – they’re all fine – none of them seem to have been exposed to either him or that other patient,” Thwing told News Channel 11.

Dr. Thwing noted that the time between Lewis’ exposure to the infected patient and when he started to show symptoms was longer than expected, nearly 11 days.

 “It was a long time, I was trying to remember just how long, 10 or 11 days I think, between exposure and when he had any symptoms,” Thwing explained. “He never had any cough, he never had shortness of breath. His chest x-ray showed a big pneumonia but he wasn’t really coughing or anything, mostly he had a fever that just wouldn’t go away – 102, 103 degrees- for many days – five or six days – was his main symptom and some gastrointestinal distress of some kind, but he had a little runny nose and that, which is not typical. His symptoms were not very typical but he did the right thing and he quarantined himself  and kept his family and his nurses safe.”

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He added that Dr. Lewis had done everything he could to limit the spread to anyone else once he realized he had been exposed.

“Dr. Lewis was able to quarantine himself in his basement for a couple of weeks, I think, or ten days when, after he knew he was exposed, and his family was fine, they’ve not exhibited any symptoms at all,” Thwing said. “When he became ill, he was able to get taken care of, so he quarantined himself in his basement, I guess he had a little apartment down there he could use.”

Dr. Thwing has been keeping tabs on Dr. Lewis’ progress on his own Facebook page:

Click here for more coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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