At 4:23 am on Jan. 21, Jorge Garcia’s life drastically changed when he was urgently taken by ambulance to the emergency department at AdventHealth Waterman with a fever and shortness of breath.
Garcia, 57, of Eustis, soon learned he was positive for COVID-19, as were several close loved ones. Just two weeks before he came to AdventHealth, Garcia’s mother-in-law succumbed to the virus.
After nearly a week of receiving treatment in the hospital, Garcia’s health began to decline further, and he was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) due to respiratory failure. Clinical experts recognized that Garcia had an extremely miniscule chance of survival.
“Mr. Garcia fatigued to the point where he couldn’t breathe anymore,” said Dr. Louis Guzzi, critical care specialist at AdventHealth Waterman. “From there, he was immediately intubated on mechanical ventilation.”
Garcia also received a wide variety of COVID-19 treatments, including remdesivir, convalescent plasma therapy, dexamethasone, reglan, vitamins C and D, zinc and prone protocol.
Eventually, Garcia’s body fought the virus and, thankfully, he began to breathe on his own.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, Garcia was separated from his family for 42 days. To boost his spirit and allow him to safely see his large, loving family after such isolation, his multidisciplinary care team worked together to get him outside into the fresh air and sunshine and greet his loved ones from a safe distance.
Two weeks later, after nearly two months of care, he was discharged from AdventHealth Waterman to his family’s delighted applause and cheers.
His wife, Rosita, said his health has continued to improve and he feels better and better each day.
“If you could see him today, you would never believe how sick he was,” Rosita said. “He looks like he did before he got sick.”
Garcia said he is feeling amazing thanks to God and the people at AdventHealth Waterman who brought him back to health. He says he is eager to return to fishing and playing his guitar.
Success stories like Garcia’s remain truly inspiring and uplifting to the health care workers serving on the frontlines of the pandemic for more than a year now.
“When you see a smiling face return that smile to you for the first time, after weeks and months in the hospital, it is a real plus,” Guzzi said. “Mr. Garcia is just a real success story and a bright shining star. His story is a reminder of why we come to work every day.”