COVID Patient and Bills Fan Gets Released Before Playoffs

January 24, 2021

Question: What’s the best medicine for an avid Buffalo Bills fan who has been in the hospital for months? 

Answer: Getting discharged in time to root for his favorite team at home.

A Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center patient achieved that goal today as nurses and other staff members gathered at the hospital’s main entrance to cheer for COVID-19 patient Richard Portale, who was headed home after a 60-day stay.

“We had a target to get him home for the playoffs,” said Memorial chief hospitalist Zubair Shaikh, M.D. “The first home playoff game he was not ready but he worked for it.

“Our mantra was home for the playoffs,” Dr. Shaikh added. “Now he can watch the AFC championship game at home.”

Cutline information for attached photo: Nurses, doctors and other members of the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center team applaud COVID-19 patient and avid Buffalo Bills fan Richard Portale on Saturday as he is discharged from the hospital after a 60-day stay — just in time to watch Sunday’s AFC Championship game at home.                                                           

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