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COVID-19 patient leaves McAllen hospital in time for holidays

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A Valley man who spent more than four months battling COVID-19 at a hospital is going home just in time for the holidays.

Dozens of supporters waited in anticipation to see 38-year-old Jesus Gallegos released from South Texas Health System in McAllen on Thursday, including the healthcare worker who has been with him since day 1.

“Seeing him get so severely sick was scary as a nurse and heartbreaking because part of me felt like he was going to pass away and not get to see his family again,” said Registered Nurse Edgar Urquiza.

But that was not the case. Even though Gallegos was not vaccinated, after encountering severe conditions that often made it difficult to breathe, the COVID-19 patient was able to beat the odds.

Family members like Gallegos’ wife and mother were emotional.

“We’re so happy, and we want to give God all the honor and glory because he’s coming home with us,” Yudith Gallegos said. “He’s going to be home for Christmas.”

As Gallegos made his way into an ambulance where he would soon be taken home, family members also extended their thanks to those who helped make the recovery possible.

Medical staff, who long struggled with the surge of patients in COVID-19 units, hope this scare might lead to those holding out to get their vaccine.

Although he was able to get home, Gallegos still needs a ventilator because he developed a lung condition.

Gallegos is working on being placed on a lung transplant list. 

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