After two months in the hospital, 53-year-old father surpassed three close calls with death and now gets to move on to his next recovery milestone.
Miguel Cerezo was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator throughout his 61 days at Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.
While he was in a coma, letters written to him by his family were read to him by the medical staff at Los Robles. The nurses hoped Cerezo could hear the loving words of encouragement from his family.
"They were messages of strength to keep him going and just telling him that we missed him and we loved him and we couldn’t wait to see him again," said Miguel Cerezo Jr., Cerezo's son.
The disease attacked Cerezo's kidneys and doctors said he had some very close calls.
"He had three episodes where he almost died independent of the COVID issue itself," said Dr. Ramin Mehdian, of Los Robles Medical Center. "Each time he fought and responded to the treatment."
But slowly he began to heal and soon he was able to read the letters himself and look at photos of his family everyday to keep him strong.
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After 61 days of care, the medical staff and Cerezo's family had the moment they had been waiting for. They lined the lobby and cheered him on as he left the medical center, wishing him well as he continued on his road to recovery.
"From the bottom of my heart- I couldn’t be anymore grateful," said Cerezo, as he was wheeled out of the medical center.
His family came to cheer him on as well and were finally able to give him the hugs that had been on hold for more than two months.
For the nurses and doctors who cared for him, Cerezo's case is a reminder of the lives they’re saving.
"To see his family and for us to wish him well, it’s one of the biggest triumphs of our careers," said Tom Vasko, one of the nurses at Los Robles.
Now as he heads into rehabilitation, Cerezos says he has a new appreciation for each day and it was made possible by those who kept him alive.
"I’m so grateful for what they have done and I’ll never forget it. Never," said Cerezos.