Gregg Garfield, one of the first COVID-19 patients in the Los Angeles area, has finally been released from the hospital. He lost fingers on both hands, and survived a lung collapse and kidney failure throughout his fight with the coronavirus.
After 64 days of hospitalization, he walked out of St Joseph’s Providence Hospital in Burbank, California, to thunderous applause.
"I have half my fingers left on this hand. Four of my fingers were amputated," Garfield told Inside Edition. His fight with the virus included battling sepsis, MRSA and a pulmonary embolism.
In February, the Los Angeles businessman and 13 buddies went skiing in the Italian Alps, before most Americans had heard of COVID-19. Everyone on the trip tested positive for the virus.
Garfield was put on a ventilator and given a 1% chance of survival.
"I turned to one of my ICU nurses and said 'I'm scared. I don't want to die,'" Garfield said. His girlfriend AJ Johnson was only allowed to visit twice.
"It was a whirlwind," Johnson said. "It was really scary. Just telling him that we know who he is, we know that this is not going to take him down. We're like, 'You better fight.'"
Garfield wants everyone to take the virus seriously.
"I'm here to tell you, this can happen to you. And there's no rhyme or reason behind it," Garfield said.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Garfield's medical expenses.