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Covington hospital care technician opens home to COVID patient with nowhere to go
Shana Andrews
Patient care tech Shana Andrews said she wanted to help a former patient at Piedmont Newton Hospital. - photo by Special to The News

COVINGTON, Ga. — When Conroy Ledgister relocated from Boston, Mass. to Covington, the 57-year-old contractor and father of four had plans to buy a house and flip it; instead, he contracted COVID-19 in December and spent his first two months in Georgia at Piedmont Newton Hospital.

“I was one machine away from the ventilator,” Ledgister said of how serious his case was.

When he was nearly well enough to be discharged, there was just one problem: he wasn’t sure where he would go, not having found a place before he got sick. 

With this on his mind, Ledgister didn’t sound as excited as his patient care tech at Piedmont Newton, Shana Andrews, expected him to be about going home after so long in the hospital.

“I said, ‘You know, you’re going to be going home soon.’... He was happy, but he didn’t seem so happy about going home,” Andrews recalled.

The two got to talking about the circumstances, which gave Andrews an idea: her family recently inherited a house from an aunt who passed away and it was just sitting empty; Ledgister could stay there until he fully recovered. 

Andrews, who has worked as a patient care tech at Piedmont Newton for three years, said she wanted to help Ledgister like her extended family had helped her and her husband before they could rent their own house with their three-month-old son. 

“He’s sick. I was saying to myself he shouldn’t have to stay in a hotel,” Andrews explained. “I really didn’t think too much into it. I was just thinking about helping somebody.”

But the gesture is making a big difference for Ledgister. As a diabetic, it is important for him to eat right, so he was especially worried about going from the hospital to a hotel, where he would have been eating mostly fast food.

Ledgister has been discharged from Piedmont Newton and is currently staying at Andrews’ family’s house in Monticello, Ga. On a recent afternoon, when Ledgister’s blood sugar levels weren’t what they should have been, he was able to grab an assortment of berries from the kitchen—something he could not have done so easily at a hotel.  He also enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood.

“If I have my own place, I can go grocery shopping and cook my own food and I can be a little bit more safe and take care of myself. So, her finding this place and offering it meant everything,” he said.

The invitation has also meant Ledgister can remain in the area and pursue his dream of starting his own business.

“I can’t wait to buy my first property and flip it,” Ledgister said. 

Conroy Ledgister
Conroy Ledgister