San Antonio – A Floresville man who never thought he would contract COVID-19 had to fight for his life against the virus in an area hospital.
“I thought I’d probably be asymptomatic and next thing I know, when I got it, I was near my death bed,” said Luis Garcia, who is now recovering from COVID-19.
Garcia, 29, is an officer with the Kennedy Police Department. He said his bout with the virus all started with a cough and headache. It was later confirmed to be COVID-19.
“The fourth day, I started getting fever,” Garcia said.
His wife also got COVID-19, but only developed mild symptoms. Garcia ended up in the hospital with respiratory failure.
“When I was sedated, I can hear my wife and my father calling, trying to cheer me, telling me I can make it, keep fighting,” Garcia said.
Garcia was receiving treatment at an area hospital before he was transferred to the Brooke Army Medical Center in July.
He was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a method of providing heart and lung support to patients.
Garcia had a tracheotomy, was taken off ECMO, and placed on a ventilator.
“There were times where I just wanted to give up,” Garcia said. But, he said his family was his motivation.
On August 23, he was transferred to Methodist Hospital Texsan and began rehab.
“Right now, I’m still slowly getting back into walking,” Garcia said.
Before getting COVID-19, Garcia said he didn’t take safety precautions and didn’t get the vaccine.
“As soon as they lifted the mask mandate, I stopped wearing a mask, I started going out restaurants everywhere,” Garcia said.
Garcia said now he feels differently and encourages people to get the vaccine, social distance and wear a mask.
After successfully completing rehab, Garcia will be going home Monday with supplemental oxygen and hopes to one day go back to the police force.
“I’m very grateful to be alive,” Garcia said.