COVID-19 survivor now works for New Hampshire hospital where he battled virus

Katherine Underwood

A New Hampshire man who spent months at Cheshire Medical Center with a COVID-19 infection is returning to the hospital as one of its newest employees.

Chris Stephenson, 57, spent most of his career as a commercial airline pilot, but recently, he started a new gig at the Keene Hospital that tasks him with monitoring patients’ vital signs.

“We call where I work central monitoring,” Stephenson said. “It’s going good.”

It’s certainly not where he expected to spend his work days, but he’s grateful just to be here.

“I guess it’s got to happen to somebody, but you never think it’s going to be you,” Stephenson said.

In November 2021, in between the delta and omicron COVID-19 variant surges, and halfway through Stephenson’s vaccination series, he got sick with COVID-19 and his condition quickly deteriorated.

“At that point in time, it was almost certain that if a patient went into the ICU, that they would not come out alive,” Dr. Aalok Khole, a Cheshire Medical Center infectious disease physician, said.