U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Governor Albert Bryan Jr. told “Sam the Sailor” he is always welcome in the U.S. Virgin Islands after he was released from Schneider Hospital on Friday following his successful battle against COVID-19.
Rolly Tolentino, 47, was admitted to Schneider Hospital in critical condition on May 7 after being rescued from a freighter that was passing by the Territory.
Governor Bryan allowed Mr. Tolentino, who was suffering from COVID-19, be admitted to the hospital in the Territory after the vessel was denied entry into Puerto Rico.
The Governor dubbed Mr. Tolentino “Sam the Sailor” to protect his privacy when he would give updates on “Sam’s” condition during COVID-19 press briefings.
Mr. Tolentino is now COVID-free and is being transported back to his home in the Philippines, according to Schneider officials.
During a bon voyage send-off Friday morning at the hospital, Schneider Interim CEO Dr. Luis Amaro and St. Thomas-St. John-Water Island Administrator Avery Lewis escorted Mr. Tolentino, while hospital staff lined the hallways cheering and applauding.
“It is great to see our tradition of holding out a welcome to one and all was not in vain,” Governor Bryan said Friday morning. “Much thanks to our healthcare workers and the staff at Schneider Hospital for nursing our guest back to health. We wish Sam the Sailor Godspeed and hope he knows he will always have a home in the Virgin Islands.”