SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A San Francisco family had a big reason to celebrate Wednesday as a beloved member was finally able to leave UCSF Medical Center after a two-month battle with a severe case of COVID-19.
They live nearby, but for more than two months, they couldn’t see this fierce fighter face-to-face.READ MORE: Historic Stockton Theater Heavily Damaged in 5-Alarm Blaze Friday Morning
“I’m happy to move onto my second life. It is a second life!” said 69-year-old San Francisco resident Ron Temko.
Temko spent 40 days in an induced coma. That was just part of his COVID-19 battle after rushing to the hospital on March 20th.
“It’s just a miracle I’m here and I’m alive,” said Temko.
For two months, he could only see and talk to his family online through Zoom chats and Facetime sessions with his grandson.
Temko and his wife traveled to Europe and Africa in early March, but then suddenly felt ill. He ended up spending 34 days on a ventilator.
“He told me he was gonna make it and not die and I held him to it. I knew this day would come,” said his wife, Linda Temko.
On Monday, Ron sent Linda 40 red roses, 2 whites ones for the couple, and 9 red candles representing their kids and grandchildren. Though far apart in the real world, in dozens of ways they were closer together than ever. The couple celebrated their 40th anniversary with a virtual kiss.READ MORE: Redwood City Sets Up Vaccination Clinic for Special-Needs Community
“Those vows are the same today, they don’t change. That’s what it is,” said Temko. “She’s my rock. She’s my advocate.”
Until his release on Wednesday, Temko was UCSF Medical Center’s longest hospitalized COVID-19 patient.
“To be able to see him in this chair is truly a miracle. It’s a blessing and honor to get to see him go and get back to life,” said UCSF ICU Nurse Jason Bloomer.
“So much gratitude. He’s an amazing person and incredibly strong. We were not ready to lose him. We were not,” said his daughter, Perri Garner.
Worldwide, there are more than 360,000 COVID-19 related deaths and nearly 5 million confirmed cases. Temko wants others to have hope.
“I’m just one in a million but it can happen, and it happened,” said Temko. “You gotta try and try. I said, ‘I’m gonna fight.’”
He’s at home now finally relaxing, having survived his long battle at the hospital. It’s a sweet welcome home for “Papa T” as he is called, but now there’s another “tee” that is on his mind.
“The opportunity to get back and win some money from my golf buddies!” said Temko.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases om California has dropped by more than half compared to the peak just about a month ago.MORE NEWS: Parishioners of Burned Concord Church Stay Committed to Helping Homeless
In San Francisco hospitals as of Tuesday, there were 20 COVID-patients in intensive care units.