Man With Coronavirus Who USVI Accepted Sees Full Recovery; Governor Bryan Bids Him Farewell

Coronavirus Published On July 31, 2020 05:06 PM
Staff Consortium | July 31, 2020 05:06:01 PM

Rolly Tolentino was in critical condition with COVID-19 when Governor Albert Bryan Jr. allowed him to be admitted to Schneider Hospital on May 7 after Puerto Rico refused entry to the vessel he was on. By SRMC

The Covid-19 patient who the Bryan administration accepted into the territory in May — called "Sam the Sailor" locally — has since recovered from his severe case of Covid-19 and was released from the Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC) on Friday morning.

Governor Albert Bryan told Sam the Sailor he is always welcome in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Government House.

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. 

Mr. Bryan allowed Mr. Tolentino to be admitted to SRMC after the vessel was denied entry into Puerto Rico. 


Schneider Hospital staff, who lined the hallways cheering and applauding as Mr. Tolentino left, wish him good luck and bon voyage on his way back to his home in the Philippines. Mr. Tolentino is now COVID-free.

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, Government House said.

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.”

Get the latest news straight to your phone with the VI Consortium app.