coronavirus pandemic

‘I Saw COVID as a Blessing': San Diego Grandfather's Message Following COVID-19 Recovery

Hector Reynoso, 62, shares his recovery from COVID-19 after being hospitalized for three months during which he suffered a heart attack and minor stroke.

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After battling an intense fight with COVID-19 including a long recovery at home, a Southcrest grandfather is sharing how he’s thankful to be alive and why he now sees his experience with COVID-19 as a blessing.

“It was a miracle,” said Hector Reynoso.

Full of gratitude, the 62-year-old grandfather recalls his vigorous battle against COVID-19 last summer, during a time when little was known about the Coronavirus.

“Being three months in the hospital, it's not an easy thing,” he explained.

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In May of 2020, Reynoso was taken via ambulance to UC San Diego Health after testing positive for COVID-19. Three days later he suffered a heart attack and flatlined.

“Because of that heart attack that lasted four minutes without me coming back, they thought I was going to have brain damage, thank God, I didn't,” he said.

“You know, I'm quite lucid as far as I'm concerned,” Reynoso added with a chuckle.

While hospitalized the beloved Southcrest grandfather then suffered a minor stroke, but once again survived. NBC 7 profiled the Reynoso family in the summer of 2020 upon Hector’s release.

“I wasn't like able to walk, I was on a wheelchair, a walker, a cane,” said Reynoso. “Now, I'm able to move around without those things, so I have progressed quite a lot.”

Reynoso and his family are impressed by his at-home recovery in the last 15 months.

“I mean you're going to have problems like my pulmonologist tells me, 'You know, you're not gonna recover 100% of your lungs, but you'll be able to operate,' which I have and I have been recovering my lungs,” said Reynoso.

By fall of 2020 Reynoso was able to ditch his wheelchair, this spring he no longer relied on his walker and by late summer the cheerful and energetic grandfather was walking and best of all dancing again.

“My will to get going again and recover the best I can, I guess that's what expedited it more and helped me out,” he said. “I wasn't giving up. I said, ‘No, I gotta, I gotta walk again. I gotta do things on my own and I'm gonna take a shower on my own,’ I mean all the little things that we all take for granted.”

This Thanksgiving Reynoso who has now retired from his work, says he sees COVID-19 as a blessing.

“You realize when you're in the situation how good we have it,” he said. “That it’s just a blessing to be able to get up every day in the morning and say, 'You know what? I'm here, thank God that I'm awake and he gave me another opportunity today,' and you just take it and realize that you are being blessed all the time.”

Reynoso is giving thanks to his doctors, family and faith for his inspiring recovery, as he encourages others battling this virus and long-term effects from it to stay positive.

“I'm thankful for everything,” he said. “Everything in my life is great.”

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