SAN ANTONIO – Update:
Carlos Muniz is making significant progress in his recovery from COVID-19 and its after-effects.
According to his wife, Grace, as of Friday, he was taken off of ECMO, a machine that provides respiratory support for people whose heart and lungs can’t function efficiently on their own.
He is now on oxygen and remains on the road to recovery.
An ECMO patient at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital was still able to say “I do” to his fiancée despite his ongoing critical battle with COVID-19′s lasting effects.
Carlos Muniz and his fiancée, Grace, got married at the hospital Tuesday, Aug. 11, during a ceremony attended by their immediate family, according to Methodist health officials.
Carlos was ready to walk down the aisle with Grace until he came down with COVID-19 the same week they were set to be married, according to hospital officials. He was admitted to the telemetry COVID-19 unit at Methodist Hospital on July 15.
His health team said that, in just a matter of days, Carlos took a turn for the worst and was transferred to the ICU for emergency cannulation. He was then placed on ECMO as a last chance at survival, officials said.
During Carlos’s fight with COVID-19, after hearing the couple’s intentions to marry before his hospitalization, Carlos’s nurse offered them the idea to wed in the hospital. They both agreed, and it wasn’t long before Carlos’s medical team noticed a change in his motivation to overcome the virus.
“Carlos is capable of doing more now than before. He’s fighting for something,” his nurse said in a statement.
On the day of the ceremony, Carlos was dressed in a tuxedo shirt, and his bride, Grace, wore the wedding dress she had originally chosen for their special day.
Carlos left his room while on ECMO and was escorted down the aisle with his respiratory therapist, nurse, ECMO specialist and perfusionist, hospital officials said. Even though visitations at the hospital are restricted, staff made an exception to allow Carlos and Grace’s parents and children be a part of the ceremony.
Grace’s father-in-law officiated their marriage and extended family members and friends joined the ceremony virtually.
The ceremony was a day neither Carlos, Grace nor their health care team would forget.
“This wedding is really important for us as the care team of this patient,” Carlos’s nurse said in a statement. “We’ve seen some victories, but we’ve had our losses. It was very special for us to be a part of and has been a big motivator for this team. It shows COVID-19 really can’t stop love.”
Carlos has since spent a month in the hospital so far and is still in the ICU. Although he has since tested negative for COVID-19, his body is still working to recovery fully, and he is unable to come off of the ECMO treatment, hospital officials said.