“Walking Miracle”: Man Released from Hospital after 132-Day COVID Fight

Alex Rivas was discharged from CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-San Marcos with great fan fare on Wednesday.

Alex is described as a “walking miracle” by Debi Martinez, BSN, RN, ACM. Debi is the Director of Case Management at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa –San Marcos, and she, like so many others, shared in the excitement of such an important departure.

Alex’s health journey following his discharge is not over, but everyone at CHRISTUS wishes him the very best.

In Debi’s own words she shared with us Alex’s journey and said she and so many others couldn’t be more honored to celebrate this important “Code Home”

“Alex truly is a walking miracle! On the afternoon of October 30, 2020, he walked into the ER at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-San Marcos complaining of severe shortness of breath. His oxygen saturation was in the 30s without oxygen (normal is 96-100%). He was diagnosed with COVID-19 and severe sepsis and admitted to our ICU on high flow oxygen plus an oxygen mask to maintain his oxygen saturation above 90%. He was started on standard acute COVID-19 protocol treatment with IV antibiotics, anti-virals, steroids and convalescent plasma. Despite aggressive treatment, he had to be placed on the ventilator on 11/2/2020. His symptoms waxed and waned over the course of the next few weeks, and he developed several complications related to COVID and high ventilator requirements. During the week of Christmas, he developed a complication with his heart requiring he be evaluated by a specialized heart surgeon. We did not expect him to survive. By the end of January, Alex required oxygen via a tracheostomy, and he was being fed via a tube. He was so weak, he could not stand up without the full assistance of three people. Over the course of the next six weeks, his tracheostomy and feeding tube were removed and physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy were working with him twice each day. On 3/10/21 – 132 days after he came to the ER – he was discharged home. He no longer needed any oxygen, he was eating regular meals, and he was able to walk with the use of a walker. Many times throughout his prolonged stay, there were discussions about end of life care and hospice, as the entire treatment team thought he would not survive. He proved everyone wrong today, and there were many happy tears shed – including Alex!”