Miracle: Local Restaurateur Survives Coronavirus

Darryl Ciarlante-Zuber spent 30 days in ICU including 23 days on a vent.

Darryl and Joe Ciarlante-Zuber, the restaurateurs behind Diego’s Hideaway and the original Dos Locos, have an incredible story to share about Darryl surviving 54 days in the hospital and rehab after he contracted Coronavirus in March. During that time, he spent 30 days in ICU, 10 days in a step-down unit and 14 days in rehab.

While in ICU, Darryl was on a vent for 23 days, well beyond what is typical. But Joe, his partner, says Darryl is a fighter and had no underlying medical issues which helped with his survival. While in the ICU, the staff monitored his oxygen levels closely to assure he would not suffer any brain damage and Darryl pulled through.

While in the hospital, he said they almost lost him five times! “The fact that he fought was a huge thing and the medical care is incredible. Although it is all new, totally new… there is no hospital that isn’t learning from this experience,” Joe points out.

Beebe has been amazing, he said, in regard to the love and support they both received from the staff at Beebe Hospital. “The care they gave him and me was just incredible,” he added. They even kept him in touch with Darryl while he was in ICU with regular FaceTime updates.

Darryl returned home just last Wednesday. “Today, after 54 days — Darryl finally CAME HOME,” Joe wrote on his Facebook page. “I am finally able to EMBRACE the reality that he is HOME!! No words can describe the AMAZING FEELING I am having! We can never THANK YOU EACH OF YOU ENOUGH for the continued PRAYERS, THOUGHTS, VIBES, Messages and LOVE for the two of us. ALL OF YOU ARE INCREDIBLE and our hopes and prayers have been answered by seeing this miracle come home today.”

Friends and neighbors honored him this past Saturday with a drive-by motorcade in front of his home in the Meadows at Old Landing. “He is bouncing back to the new normal,” says Joe!

The popular restaurant duo is still planning to open a restaurant they had under construction at 10 North First Street in downtown Rehoboth. It is named Square One, because that is the same location where they started the original Dos Locos about 20 years ago. See Chris Flood’s Cape Gazette article for more on Square One.

The threat from Coronavirus is real, Joe warns. He hopes everyone will take it seriously. Joe and Darryl are grateful for the community support, for Beebe Hospital and for the thoughts, prayers and blessing from friends and family who got them through this ordeal.

Photos courtesy Joe Ciarlante-Zuber