Gregg Garfield, 54, was a patient battling the novel coronavirus in the hospital for two months. Though he only had a 1 percent chance of survival, he beat the odds and left the hospital last week.
Record Searchlight reported that Garfield was in the hospital for 64 days – with 31 of those on a ventilator. He was “patient zero” at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.
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After a trip to northern Italy with his friends in February, Garfield became ill and went to the hospital. “The disease kicked off, and my immune system just ate me alive,” Garfield said.
“He wasn’t that bad when he came into the emergency room and within less than 48 hours, he wasn’t breathing well, he was on maximum oxygen,” said pulmonologist Dr. Daniel Dea.
According to ABC7, not only was Garfield the hospital’s longest patient-stay – he was also its first coronavirus patient. He suffered pneumonia and kidney failure. Also, according to his sister Stephanie Garfield Bruno, four different parts of his lungs collapsed.
“But with the help of physicians and physical therapists, he was slowly able to regain his mobility and returned home with a walker,” reported Record Searchlight.
There’s still a long way to go before Garfield reaches full recovery, but he hopes that people take the pandemic seriously.
“This is really emotional for me,” Garfield told CBSN Los Angeles. “I have a hard time receiving. I have received an outpour of unbelievable love. The only thing I really am focused on right now is telling the story about how real this is,” he also said.