‘Code Happy': Hospitals Celebrate With Recovered Coronavirus Patients as They Leave

Some Massachusetts hospitals are playing music and cheering as COVID-19 patients who have recovered are discharged

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Every day, COVID-19 patients are being discharged from hospitals across Massachusetts, and some have found special ways to celebrate.

Stephanie Kim, 33, of Malden, spent four days at MelroseWakefield Hospital this week battling coronavirus. While she was getting through the worst of the infection, she kept hearing the same song play on the intercom. It was "Happy" by Pharrell.

"At one point, I asked somebody why they were doing that, and they said it means someone with COVID-19 has recovered enough to go home," Kim said.

The hospital calls it "Code Happy" for patients who want to participate. On Thursday, the music played and doctors and nurses clapped as Kim was released.

"It was emotional. It's nice to just know it's a light at the end of the tunnel," Kim said.

A similar celebration is happening at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington. They call it "Code Rocky" and play the theme music from the movie "Rocky" as patients are discharged.

They got the idea from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield after some of the videos of their patients went viral on social media.

Lahey Associate Chief Nursing Officer Kelly Harmon said the music means as much to the staff as it does to the patients being discharged.

"It's really uplifting," Harmon said. "To give everybody a little extra boost to keep going back and doing the work that they're doing."

With Kim's consent, MelroseWakefield posted her video on Facebook. As of Friday night, it had received more than 50,000 views and hundreds of comments of support. As tough as the virus was to beat, she says it is hard not to be happy about that.

"You just don't know how something so small can impact so many people," Kim said. "It's nice to know other people are rooting about that."

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