Brooklyn teacher, Winthrop’s 750th COVID-19 discharge, says ‘God delivered’

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MINEOLA — Deborah Priester, an early intervention teacher for preschoolers, joyfully danced in her wheelchair as she was the 750th COVID-19 patient to be discharged from NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola on Tuesday.

“Celebrate good times, come on!!” she sang, as some of her nurses clapped beside her.

“God delivered again,” Priester told PIX11 News. “I am a Christian and I praise God. This is a testimony.”

Priester, a mom and grandmother from East New York, Brooklyn, went to NYU Winthrop on Thursday, two days after she started feeling ill.

“I’m never sick. I’m healthy … So this was an experience for me,” she said. “I had constant diarrhea, I had vomiting, I had a cough. I was very lethargic.”

Priester praised the nurses and doctors at Winthrop, who treated her with antibiotics and oxygen assistance.

She clutched a sign that said “750” as she was cheered exiting the hospital.

The media and hospital employees surrounding her weren’t practicing social distancing, but everyone wore masks.

Many of the hospital personnel held numbers indicating they, too, had survived COVID-19.

Nurses in the special isolation units treating coronavirus patients waved from windows many stories above the main entrance.

Priester then spoke of her work as a teacher for special needs children, some of them diagnosed with autism.

“I miss my students so much,” she said, touching her heart. “And it’s one of the things that got me through this. And I can’t wait to see those faces and little bright shiny eyes.”

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