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Colorado man given 1% chance of surviving COVID two years ago, close to making full recovery

Jaime Gonzalez is almost fully recovered after given a 1% chance of surviving
Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 13, 2023

THORNTON, Colo. — After two years recovering from a severe case of COVID-19, a Thornton, Colorado man and his family are finally getting back to living a normal life.

Denver7 first told you about Jaime Gonzalez last year, right after he woke up from a coma.

Gonzalez contracted a severe case of the coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic, with doctors giving him a 1% chance of survival.

Now, he's close to making a full recovery.

“It was devastating. Not knowing what COVID-19 was, you just don't know what to expect. You don't know what's going to happen," said Jesus Gonzalez, his oldest son. "It was difficult."

Jaime Gonzalez's diagnosis came just a few after he overcame a stroke and pneumonia.

"My siblings are young. And basically, they told me to bring them over so they can say goodbye to him," said Jesus Gonzalez.

The dad of three was in a coma, intubated and had to use the ECMO machine (life support). Despite all odds against them, the family still held on to hope.

"Eventually, I came across a research paper. They were doing a trial in China doing a super high dose of steroids. I presented it to the doctors and at first, they said that it wasn't going to work," said Jesus Gonzalez.

Thornton man given 1% chance of surviving COVID two years ago, close to making full recovery

But Jesus Gonzalez never gave up.

"I continued pushing it until eventually a different doctor [took over his care]. She's the one that said let's go for it," he said.

A few days after the treatment, his father's health started improving, and he woke up from the coma.

"There are no words to describe it. I looked at him and I was like, 'What's up, buddy? What's going on?' And he just looked back at me. And he just smiled," said Jesus Gonzalez.

After spending 100 days in the hospital, his father returned home. Denver7 visited the family last February, his health was getting better but he still had a few restrictions.

This year, we paid them another visit. Jaime Gonzalez said his lungs have recovered nearly 80% and he no longer has to rely on portable oxygen.

For the first time in years, he's getting to enjoy his favorite activities and has returned to work as a CNA. He's not taking any of it for granted.

"Don't stop fighting. Every time because life is great. Thank you, God, for giving me the great opportunity one more time," said Jaime Gonzalez.

He and his wife plan to throw a big party this Friday to renew their vows after having to put it off for a couple of years.