Goodbye for now - David Garcia's Covid-19 story
A Story of Inspiration & Resilience
On May 20th of this year, David Garcia was diagnosed with COVID-19. When he checked himself into Nicola Valley Hospital and Heath Centre on May 24th, he had no idea that this would be the last time he saw his son for 23 days. After cancer took the life of David Garcia’s wife in September of 2014, saying goodbye to his family meant so much more than it used to. To David and his son, the reality that tomorrow is promised to no one, and each goodbye could be the last, was very real.
When David first arrived at the hospital, he was feeling optimistic and thought that he would be able to return home after a few tests. As things took a turn for the worse, he soon realized that the nasal cannula supplying him oxygen was no longer a support but rather a necessity to survive. On May 26th, David went into respiratory arrest which resulted in him having to be rushed to the Royal Inland Hospital for complex care. By May 28th, he was on life support. David spent the next 6 days in an induced coma with a team of doctors and nurses in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) working tirelessly to stabilize his breathing and keep him alive. On June 4th, David awoke, exhausted, confused, and hooked up to every machine imaginable. He had two IV lines in his right forearm, a central line in his neck for feeding, a catheter, sensory pads covering his torso, and a ventilator mechanically breathing for him.
After 13 days of being on a ventilator, David’s life supporting lines and tubes were removed, and he was given the opportunity to take a breath on his own. He recalls, “It was shallow, but it was mine and mine alone. I felt a freedom that cannot be explained. It was like being born again, a pivotal moment of a second chance.” He felt as if he had been officially brought back to life. His road to recovery was lengthy but with the help of the incredible doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and respiratory therapists who stayed by his side, he was able to return home and embrace his son once again. Thanks to the life saving care he received at RIH, David’s goodbye to his son did not have to be eternal but rather a “goodbye for now” that he will never forget.
You can find more stories of inspiration and resilience just like the one you read here in our 2020-2021 Annual Report.