COVID-19 reunion: Tearful patients, nurses share memories

Registered nurse Lisa Lampkin, center, facing camera, hugs her former COVID-19 patient, Brian Patnoe, at Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, as former coronavirus patients and their caregivers gather to celebrate the hospital’s 50th anniversary. It was an emotional reunion for the patients and the nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors who saved their lives at a time when little was known about the virus that has since overrun the world. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Brian Patnoe never saw the faces of the masked health care workers who nursed him back to health from the coronavirus that nearly killed him. But he knew each by their eyes, which peered out through layers of protective gear as he lay in their hospital’s COVID-19 unit.