SoCal Man Given 1 Percent Chance of Survival With COVID-19 Talks Recovery, Surgeries and Survival

Ameera Butt
July 07, 2020 - 12:00 am

    Gregg Garfield was the first COVID-19 patient or "patient 0" at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank earlier this year in Southern California.

    Garfield and his girlfriend AJ Johnson joined KNX 1070 News to talk about his recovery, more surgeries and what's next.

    He contracted the coronavirus while skiing in Italy in February. Garfield came to the hospital in Burbank and spent more than two months there, according to a USA Today story from May. He was released from the hospital in May.

    The 54-year-old, who said he had no pre-existing conditions, recalled how he was given a one percent chance of living.  Garfield recapped how he was on life support, had kidney failure, liver failure and how he was on a ventilator for 31 days and was on dialysis.

    Garfield said that last week he had a second procedure in two weeks where he had amputation on his left and right hand on most of his fingers.

    "My blood pressure was so low when they were to move me even an inch my blood pressure would crash," he said adding his fingers and a couple of his toes were compromised from a lack of blood circulation.

    "I had the kitchen sink thrown at me," he said adding "as far as the amputations are concerned, I've had had all the surgeries regarding the amputation but there are additional surgeries as far as reconstructive that I am going through."

    He said he has 100 percent recovery of his internal organs. 

    His girlfriend, A.J., also recounted what it was like to see him in the hospital with the virus.

    Garfield said individuals should be socially responsible right now. He said, "at the very least, wear a mask."

    "I am a prime example of a guy who shouldn't get it," Garfield said. "I can really hope people really do take this seriously and look at me, I am an example of what you don't want to have happened. And I am very, very fortunate to be alive with given a one percent survival. That means if you're in my situation, you won't make it." 

    In LA County, the LA County Public Health Director issued a warning about the coronavirus outbreak as cases and hospitalizations surge. Last week, Gov. Newsom ordered the closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, zoos, movie theaters in certain counties for at least three weeks amid rising cases of COVID-19.

    He added more counties to that state monitoring list today and said all bars in all 23 counties must close. Newsom also ordered the closure of bars in LA County and other counties. On June 18, Newsom issued a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public.

    All of this as Dr. Fauci warns that the U.S. could see 100,000 cases of COVID-19 a day if Americans don't follow safety protocols and recommendations from public health.

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