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Dr. Paul Strachan

A 42-year-old pastor from Long Island gets a special thank you from a New York Jets legend after battling COVID-19 at Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH).

At the height of the pandemic, Doug Jansson organized prayer parades with his church, Living Word Church, at a few locations on Long Island, including Stony Brook University Hospital, where his mother-in-law was being treated for COVID-19 back in March. Doug, his wife Kelly and members of their church would drive around the hospital, signs and all, and stop to pray for staff and the patients they were treating. Their kindness didn’t stop there as they even organized grocery donations and drop-offs across Long Island.

Things came full circle on December 12, 2020 when Doug was admitted to SBUH after testing positive for COVID-19. Doug wound up in the ICU and on Christmas Eve he was intubated and placed on life support. The people he had been praying for were now caring for him.

Led by Dr. Paul Strachan and Dr. Allison McLarty, staff from nearly every division and department at SBUH helped care for Doug. Teams in pulmonary, CT surgery, ID, Medicine, Psychiatry/palliative care, GI, Hematology, Cardiology, Vascular and more helped on his road to recovery.

Doug was taken off ECMO on December 29 and extubated on January 5, 2021 before being discharged on February 3, 2021. He and his wife say the staff of every unit became like family and it seemed that the entire hospital was involved and routing for his recovery.

“The staff at Stony Brook were fighting for Doug and rooting him on. They were so encouraging to us. I am speechless over the care we’ve received,” said Kelly Jansson.

Rob Nocito, a resident in Emergency Medicine at SBUH, was one of the physicians who assisted in taking Doug off the ventilator. Nocito noticed Jansson was a hardcore New York Jets fan from the team’s memorabilia hanging in his room. Nocito happens to be good friends with Erik Coleman, a former defender on the Jets. He gave Coleman a call and he quickly agreed to talk to Jansson.

“My job is to make people feel better, and that doesn’t always mean medicine,” said Nocito.

Jansson was speechless as he met the NFL star via FaceTime. Coleman wished Jansson well and thanked him for everything he has done. See the moment here.

His wife Kelly couldn’t believe somebody would be so kind and do this for him. “We are so grateful to the staff at Stony Brook. They go above and beyond every single day,” she said.

As Doug was discharged, staff lined the hallways to wish him well.

Doug now looks forward to returning home to his wife and three children as well as getting back to the work he loves with his church.

Photos courtesy of SBUH