LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A special send-off was held Friday for a man who spent over two months in a Burbank hospital after contracting coronavirus during a group ski trip to Northern Italy.
After 64 days in the hospital, 31 of which were spent on a ventilator, survivor Gregg Garfield was discharged to go home.
With his sister and girlfriend by his side, Garfield will now enter the next phase of his rehabilitation.
He had some emotional words as he departed the place where his life was saved.
“These guys in the hospital are unbelievable. This walkthrough of love, it’s just amazing,” he said. “These doctors are the best of the best. I could not have survived anywhere else”
Garfield contracted COVID-19 during the annual ski trip back in February before many people even knew about coronavirus.
All thirteen members of his group were infected with the virus. When Garfield got home, he checked himself into the hospital.
His doctors said he although he was incredibly healthy, the virus still hit him hard with nearly every vital organ in his body shutting down.
According to doctors, being on a ventilator made his case even more precarious.
“I believe there is a 70 percent or above mortality rate for COVID patients that go on a ventilator,” said Dr. Daniel Dea at Providence Saint Joseph Center. “So for him to survive with a near full recovery is amazing. He’s our miracle patient. It kind of reaffirms all the hard work that we do.”
“I’m so thankful for this hospital,” said Garfield’s sister Stephanie Bruno. “They saved his life. Every person who has been in here to take care of him and who has talked to him and hold his hand because we couldn’t.”
Garfield has a long road to recovery but he said he knows he’ll be 100 percent in the not too distant future.
He wanted to share a message to people to take the virus seriously, stressing that it is very dangerous.