MANHASSET, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — After five harrowing months, a former COVID-19 patient walked out of a Long Island rehab center on Monday.
Doctors say it’s nothing short of a miracle.
Tito Vasquez, 33, arrived in the emergency room at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital with a blood/oxygen saturation of 11. Healthy people usually have levels in the 90s and anything under 60 typically means imminent death.
He had a blood clot in his lung and had already suffered a stroke, but he was still fighting, despite eventually going into a coma.
Dr. Jason Yan, at LIJ Valley Stream, described Vasquez as looking completely white and blue and barely responding to anything.
While in the hospital, he suffered a second stroke and was placed on a ventilator.
After 111 days in the hospital and some time at a rehabilitation center in Manhasset, however, he was able to walk out of the hospital with his wife at his side.
Vasquez was greeted by cheers and applause as he walked out and there was not a dry eye in the crowd.
His doctor, Richard Stumacher, says he defied all odds.
“When I saw him take his first couple of steps, I had such an emotional response because it’s not something I thought I’d ever see,” he explains.
Speaking in Spanish, Vasquez told the crowd he cannot wait to spend time with his family and eat a home cooked meal.
“Tito never gave up and he worked so hard and he never got upset and he was always a pleasure,” Dr. Stumacher said.