Lawrence Garbuz, who has been dubbed "New York's patient zero," recently opened up about his battle with COVID-19 and the impact the virus has had on his life.
In an exclusive interview with Savannah Guthrie on the "Today" show, Lawrence Garbuz, who has been dubbed "New York's patient zero," opened up about his struggle with COVID-19. Speaking on how he feels following his recovery, Lawrence said:
"I am thankful that I am alive. To be honest with you, it has been quite a journey."
Illustration of blood drawn to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus. | Source: Pixabay.
Lawrence, who was joined by his wife Adina and his four children, expressed that the first time he got sick, he did not think it was related to the novel coronavirus as he had not been out of the country or even visited China. Speaking of his symptoms, he said:
"I had a cough, a slight cough...so I went to the doctor, and he examined me and said I needed to go to the emergency room."
Lawrence mentioned that his mind never went to the possibility of him being infected with novel coronavirus, as it seemed unlikely for a guy who sat at a desk all day and had little international travel experience to have the virus.
Upon his first visit to the doctors, Lawrence stated that there was no mention of the virus initially. However, he mentioned that upon entering the emergency room, he had no recollection of anything that had transpired until he woke up from a coma three weeks later.
His children acknowledged that it was a miracle to have their dad back home with them.
Recalling the early stages of Lawrence's illness, his wife Andina stated that she had thought it was pneumonia and expected that after getting some drugs, he was going to get better. Still, over the weekend, his condition worsened as he was struggling to breathe.
Lawrence had a busy schedule and was working too hard, and this was some of the things she felt contributed to him being susceptible to the disease. Speaking of her decision to have him intubated on the ambulance ride, Andina said:
"He was suffering, and I could not watch it...I did not think he was going to make an ambulance ride in that state."
Lawrence acknowledged that had it not been for Andina's ability to solve problems quickly, he might not have made it, and he was grateful for her help in saving his life.
As with most COVID-19 patients, Lawrence had to be isolated, and as such, his family had no means of contacting him. This period, Andina says, was the toughest for her as she could not imagine him waking up with no one beside him.
Lawrence also stated that although it was hard for him to be without his family, the picture of his children that had been placed by his bedside gave him the motivation to want to get better and head home.
He also acknowledged the nurses and doctors who cared for him, stating that they did a splendid job, and he was grateful for the love and support he got from therm.
In all, while Lawrence, who was first diagnosed in early March, is glad to be back home with his wife and children who acknowledge that it was a miracle to have their dad back home with them.