MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — He spent more than three months in multiple hospitals battling COVID-19.
But on Monday, a Valley Stream man was discharged, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.
Finally, after 111 days in the hospital, 33-year-old Tito Velasquez found the strength to walk out of Northwell Stern Family Center of Rehabilitation, to cheers and tears. He spoke with the help of his nurse interpreter.
When asked if he ever thought he wasn’t going to make it, “He said, no. He never gave up,” the nurse said.
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All of Velasquez’s doctors called him a miracle patient after he cheated death multiple times.
Velasquez had no previous health issues, but on April 28 he was rushed to Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital in critical condition and immediately put on a ventilator. He later tested positive for COVID-19.
“He’s my age. Every time something went wrong and he got that sick again, we thought that this was it. He didn’t give up. We didn’t give up, either,” Dr. Zubair Hasan said.
Velasquez suffered two strokes and a collapsed lung. He fought for weeks and was moved to four different hospitals to work with specialists.
One video shows him walking for the first time after being taken off the vent.
“Seeing him stand up and take his first couple of steps … it was a beautiful and emotional moment for myself, all the staff,” said Dr. Richard Stumacher, chief of pulmonary and critical care at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Velasquez’s wife said they will never forget the doctors and nurses who saved his life.
“Very happy, very happy,” Juana Masa said.
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Now the focus is on the future. Velasquez said his first order of business when getting home is having a good meal.
And, most importantly, he’s looking forward to spending time with his family.
That meal his wife was set to cook Monday night is his favorite — ham on the barbecue.
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