“If I had known what I know now, I certainly would have been successful with the vaccination,” said Joshua Garza, who has now recovered and is hopeful that his story can help others.
Recounting his ordeal, he said his test for Covid-19 was taken at a local pharmacy on January 30.
“The next day we got positive results. We tried to treat ourselves at home… two days later it got worse. I couldn’t walk… my oxygen levels were very low, ”Garza, who works in the oil and gas industry, told ABC News.
He remembered walking towards the front of the house when he finally fell. “My wife called an ambulance… they took me straight to the hospital,” he said.
Mr Garza said that Covid-19 ended up attacking his lungs and within three weeks he had completely damaged them, after which he was placed on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, which acts like lungs and an artificial heart.
His name was added to the list of lung transplants and, miraculously, within weeks, was matched with a donor. On April 13, he was successfully operated on and then spent several weeks recovering in hospital before being released on May 27.
Dr Howard Huang, who is the medical director of lung transplantation at Houston Methodist and one of the doctors who treated Mr Garza, said lung transplants are a rare procedure for Covid-19 patients “without further ado option, ”ABC News reported.
So far, the Houston Methodist has performed eight double lung transplants on Covid-19 patients.
Dr Huang said that if Mr Garza had taken the vaccine “it is likely that we would never have gotten to this point” even if he had ended up in a hospital, as data shows that vaccines can prevent serious illness.
“It’s a lot easier to get the vaccine than to have something like this,” he said.