Photographer: Simon Moricz-Sabjan Simon
Title: Richie
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Period: 04/2021 - 07/2021
Category: Solutions

Thirty-year-old Richard Meszaros was diagnosed with the coronavirus during the surge of its third wave in the capital city of Hungary, Budapest. In March 2021 he was transported from his home by ambulance to the Emergency Department of Uzsoki Street Hospital where he was almost immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit due to his rapidly deteriorating condition.

Richie spent 59 days in intensive care where he was connected to a ventilator for nearly the entire time followed by his transfer to the COVID-19 Internal Medicine Unit for a total of 113 days. He received a hero’s sendoff from the hospital after the entire staff became united behind him in their life-saving efforts. Richie was young and healthy without any pre-existing medical conditions nevertheless his chance of survival remained questionable for a very long time. He received a total of 14 blood transfusions, his kidneys failed several times, and the coronavirus damaged nearly all of his organs.  

By the time he was discharged from the hospital in July Richie lost close to 25 kilograms, or 55 pounds. Since then he has grown stronger every week and so far has not shown any signs of long COVID-19 symptoms. It seemed unlikely he would be able to celebrate his 31st birthday in November with his family and friends so his remarkable recovery gave him, his community, along with the entire medical team of at Uzsoki Street Hospital a renewed sense of hope, especially after having to witness the devastatingly crushing loss of close to 90% of their patients in the Covid-19 Intensive Care Unit.



Richie

Muscle atrophy common for all patients placed in an induced coma began within the first few days therefore physical therapy treatments became crucial in Richie s care

Richie

The regular visitations and care from his parents were extremely important to Richie

Richie

Richie was young and healthy without any pre-existing medical conditions nevertheless his chance of survival remained questionable for a very long time

Richie

Richie s parents including his father Gyula was given a special permit from the hospital s CEO to visit their son daily in the temporary intensive care unit which was set up impromptu inside an operating room

Richie

Richie spent 59 days in the Uzsoki s intensive care

Richie

During his two months of being in a coma Richie received a total of 14 blood transfusions which is an unusually high number

Richie

Richie felt the warmth of the sun for the first time in the beginning of May since contracting the virus in March

Richie

The four waves of COVID-19 so far have claimed more than 33 000 lives in Hungary making it one of the top countries with the highest death rate per capita

Richie

Before he contracted the virus Richie worked as an armed security guard within the police force He trained three times a week and as a result was in absolutely perfect physical condition

Richie

Richie needed his patience the most during the 54 days he spent recovering slowly in the COVID-19 Internal Medicine Unit

Richie

Richie pictured with his mother leaving the hospital on July 2 2021

Richie

He is incredibly fortunate to have made such a remarkable recovery after his ordeal in intensive care and is hoping he can soon return to living his life fully