OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (CBS) — An Olympia Fields police detective has quite the comeback story.
Weeks ago, Detective Mark Akiyama was on a ventilator, fighting for his life after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, Akiyama told CBS 2’s Marissa Parra he was not 100 percent, but he is up for the challenge.READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies
Smiles frequently flash across Akiyama’s face. The detective just got out of the hospital from COVID-19.
“For three weeks, I ended up sitting there fighting for my life,” he said.
Akiyama has been solving crime in Olympia Fields for almost two decades, but how he got the virus is, and will remain, a mystery.
“I woke up on a Saturday morning with a fever of 102.3 and said: ‘This thermometer must be wrong. I don’t get sick,’” he said.
But sick he was. Akiyama was shocked when he found out that the virus he’d heard so much about had made its way to him.
“I’ve never used a sick day in over 10 years in Olympia Fields,” he said.READ MORE: Dozens Of Officers Rally Outside CPD Headquarters, Protesting City's Vaccine Mandate
And yet days later, Akiyama was in the hospital – his condition declining so fast that he was told he would need to go on a ventilator.
That was a tough pill to swallow when data show roughly 80% of those who go on a ventilator never end up coming off. But Akiyama credits his rock – his wife.
“I’m like, ‘No, I don’t want, to because I’m not coming back,’ and she says, ‘Look, you are a strong individual and you will make it,’” Akiyama said.
Now, weeks later, Akiyama beat the odds. He’s back home.
“I have a walker to get around,” he said. “I have a breathing apparatus that I do use.”
But the police officer wants to get one thing off his chest now that he can breathe again.
“This virus will attack you and it does not care who you are. It will sit there and try to kill you,” Akiyama said. “People have to understand if you think you’re young and invincible, you’re not. That’s what I thought. I thought I’d never get sick, or come to almost dying.”MORE NEWS: WalletHub Ranks Chicago With The Second Most Popular Skyline
Akiyama tells us he is not aware of any other police officers in his department with the virus.