CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - An ER nurse is making a vaccine plea months after surviving a harrowing COVID battle in the ICU.
“I have good days and bad days,” said Danny Plata, 38.
Plata's recovery is slow going, but he is grateful.
“My odds were really bad. I’m a walking miracle, literally,” said Plata.
Plata was all too familiar with the tragic impact of COVID. The single father of two worked on the frontlines when the pandemic started, as an ER nurse at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.
In mid-January, days after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, he came down with a sore throat, and then a fever.
Within about a week's time, he was hospitalized with COVID and placed on a ventilator. It's believed he was infected between vaccine doses.
In early February, his condition became dire.
“My oxygen was only 37%. They told my family to come in and say goodbye,” said Plata.
They said their goodbyes, but he survived the night, and then another night.
A week later, doctors tried one last experimental procedure using an ECMO machine, which pumps and oxygenates the blood outside the body.
Almost immediately his family's prayers were answered.
“Within five minutes, my oxygen jumped to about 85%, then started doing better by the day,” said Plata.
In early March, he was taken off the ventilator. About a month later, he was able to go home.
Some three months later, he says his recovery has plateaued.
“I am on oxygen 24-7,” said Plata.
He also suffers weakness in his right hand and nerve pain, but he is thankful to be alive. He credits being partially vaccinated.
“I believe one of the reasons I'm alive was because of the vaccine helped reduced the effects of COVID,” said Plata.
As COVID cases surge from the Delta variant, he has a message for the unvaccinated.
“This thing is serious and will kill you, really fast. It’s extremely important to get vaccinated, not just for you, but for the community,” said Plata.