Doctors at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton were celebrating a man who had been in their care longer than any other COVID-19 patient after the man made a vow that he would one day walk out of that hospital in spite of nearly dying from coronavirus.
For Daniel Kim it was a royal send off Wednesday.
There were hugs, there were tears and there was even a poem written in his honor.
The 48-year old Chino man was admitted to St. Jude Medical Center mid-July. He was placed on a ventilator and put in a coma to save his life.
"I don’t remember five weeks in coma. When I woke up it was kind of bleak," Kim said.
Doctors say they did everything in their power, but his lungs had ruptured. In the months that followed, it was touch and go.
Inspiration and an incentive to get stronger came from one of his own therapists.
"She was crying and saying, 'I lost so many people,' and said, 'you encourage me to do better.' How could I give up hearing stuff like that?" Kim said.
Video from the hospital shows the father and husband determined to stand on his own two feet. His body so weakened by coronavirus he had to learn to walk and talk again.
"Everyday I pray for him," his wife, Michelle Kim, said. "That's why God saved him."
Michelle Kim got COVID-19 at the same time but left the hospital two weeks later. Wednesday she came back to take her husband home. He has been recovering for five months.
His sister, the director of nursing, panicked when he first showed up in the emergency room.
"There were moments when I was really scared and thought I might lose my brother," Julie Kim said.
The day for Daniel Kim was really one small step toward his future, but one giant leap for those who cared for him.