Gregg Garfield was in the hospital due to coronavirus for 64 days. For 31 of those days, he was on a ventilator.
Garfield, 54, was "patient zero" at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, about 10 miles north of Los Angeles. He had a 1% chance of survival. And he beat the odds, leaving the hospital on Friday.
He became ill and was hospitalized after a February trip to northern Italy — an early source of coronavirus infections — with a dozen of his friends.
"The disease kicked off, and my immune system just ate me alive,” Garfield told KCAL-TV in Los Angeles.
An avid skier who considers himself an athletic person, Garfiewas on the verge of losing his fight with coronavirus.
Per a report on the "Today Show," Garfield suffered pneumonia and kidney failure. His sister Stephanie Garfield Bruno told KABC-TV that four different parts of his lungs collapsed. He was unable to walk.
But with the help of physicians and physical trainers, he was slowly able to regain his mobility and returned home with a walker.
On the day of his release, the entire staff at Providence St. Joseph gathered for a round of applause to cheer on the man who survived coronavirus, after two months of hospitalization.
He still has a long road to full recovery, but Garfield hopes that people take the coronavirus pandemic seriously.
"The only thing I really am focused on right now is telling the story about how real this is," he told KCAL-TV.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote