DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) - A 25-year-old COVID-19 survivor is lucky to be alive. Doctors told him he nearly died three different times in the four months he was hospitalized with the virus.
Jason Barbosa, 25, met the doctor who saved his life after he contracted COVID-19 for the first time Monday. The last time Dr. Jeffrey Huml of Northwestern Medicine had seen Barbosa, the young man was unconscious; the virus had forced him into a coma for six weeks.
“For some reason, you got another chance,” Huml told Barbosa. “I am amazed… It’s truly a miracle.”
Barbosa says his entire body shut down, and the virus nearly killed him on several occasions.
“They told my family to come say goodbye to me three times because they were gonna disconnect me,” he said.
But the 25-year-old survived and is on the long road to recovery. He was released from Central DuPage Hospital last August after spending nearly four months there, but he still has to check in frequently while he deals with the aftereffects of the virus.
Barbosa says he’s both hoping to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as he can and to see his immediate family. His wife, two children and parents are all in Mexico and have been unable to visit him.
“When I woke up, it was the first thing that came to my mind: wanting to survive, wanting to be positive to be able to be there for them,” he said.
Huml says Barbosa’s case should serve as a warning, as he is young and had no pre-existing health concerns but suffered serious complications from COVID-19.
“Young people need to take this very seriously also. Every day… people are dying from the virus,” Huml said.
At its peak, Central DuPage was treating 111 COVID-19 patients. Now, the number is down to about 25, but doctors say it’s important to remember the threat of serious illness or even death remains.