"Sam the Sailor," Rolly Tolentino, to return home to the Phillipines

ST. THOMAS — Rolly Tolentino, 47, was released from Schneider Hospital on Friday after receiving emergency treatment for COVID-19, and will return home to the Philippines.

Tolentino was a crew member aboard a cargo vessel when he became critically ill, and he was denied entry to Puerto Rico for emergency care. Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. authorized the vessel to drop Tolentino off on St. Thomas on May 7, and he received more than two months of treatment before he recovered from COVID-19.

Bryan had nicknamed Tolentino “Sam the Sailor” to protect his identity during press briefings.

“It is great to see our tradition of holding out a welcome to one and all was not in vain,” Bryan said in a statement. “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.”