CHICAGO (CBS) — After multiple near-death scares due to COVID-19, Hector Duenas is finally out of the hospital. CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross has more on the Burbank man’s health journey, including his trip back home on Saturday.
That health scare began nearly three months ago, when Hector went to the hospital for the virus — staying there, at times near death – before finally making it home on Saturday.
Cheering friends and family applauded outside Advocate Christ Medical Center as Hector was released from the hospital.
The health impacts of COVID-19 for him were so severe, his wife made funeral arrangements for him; not once, but four times, because of the number of near-death situations the virus put him in.
Saturday afternoon, he was escorted from Christ Medical Center in a parade procession.
His home was decorated for the healthy homecoming.
His wife, a healthcare worker, contracted COVID-19, and likely infected Hector and her family.
Hector was away from his house and in the hospital for 84 days, fighting for his life.
Most who contract COVID-19 do re-cover, and Hector is part of that statistic, but the virus will have a lasting impact on his health and quality of life.
He and his wife spoke with us on video chat to maintain social distancing.
“He has permanent lung damage, permanent scarring on his lungs,” said his wife, Karen. “We still don’t know yet, to what extent. Numbness in his chest. His gait, his walk ability, we don’t know how his oxygen is going to be in 5-10 years from now. So, it’s still up in the air, but he has permanent damage to his lungs.”
Hector wanted to send a message to others to take the virus seriously, and wear a mask, observe social distancing, and never take their family for granted.