LOS ANGELES, CA. (KTLA) — Family members and medical workers cheered as 32-year-old Michael Orantes was released from a California hospital Thursday after 93 grueling days battling COVID-19.
The young father had just returned from a trip to Spain in the end of March when he tested positive for the coronavirus. He was showing symptoms of the deadly respiratory illness and was hospitalized at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood.
At the time, he didn’t know he would be confined to a hospital room, isolated from his family for over three months.
Orantes didn’t have any underlying health conditions and was considered to be a healthy young man, his doctor, Dr. Paryus Patel, told sister station KTLA.
But his condition deteriorated and he ended up spending two months in the intensive care unit, hooked up to a ventilator and intubated on maximum settings, according to the hospital.
With help from a medical team, Orantes pulled through and on Thursday was strong enough to leave the hospital and reunite with his 2-year-old daughter, whom he’d seen only through FaceTime during his lengthy stay at the hospital.
Surrounded by loved ones, the young man sat in a wheelchair outside the hospital as his father gave thanks to the medical team and to God for his son’s recovery.
Orantes appeared much thinner after his battle with the virus — doctors said he lost 35% of his body weight in just a few months.
Thousands of people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 across Los Angeles County’s hospitals.
On Thursday alone, there were 2,037 people being treated for the respiratory illness, 26% of them in the ICU and 17% on ventilators.
Hospitalizations for the illness have been surging in the county in recent weeks, along with the infections rate.
A total of 124,738 people have tested positive for the virus in L.A. County and 3,689 people have died, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Though the majority of those who have died of COVID-19 in L.A. County had underlying health conditions, 7% did not.
“That 7% represents dozens and dozens of people who may have thought that they were at no risk for having serious illness and even dying for COVID-19, but unfortunately this virus can affect many, many different people,” L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in media briefing Wednesday.