SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - After surviving a harrowing battle with COVID-19, a local homeless advocate is now sharing his own story, as he hands out care packages.
For decades, Arthur Salazar, a cab driver, and the founder of an online Christian ministry, passed out Bibles and, later, care packages for the homeless.
This year, he's giving out a little extra, thanks to some added perspective.
“I woke up out of coma, and I realized I needed to add to what I do on the streets, preaching about the vaccine,” said Salazar, 55.
In September, Salazar, a diabetic, was rushed to a hospital with COVID pneumonia and intubated.
“They had only given me a 30% chance to live,” said Salazar.
He was removed from the ventilator three weeks later. Salazar believes the COVID fight that nearly took his life could have been avoided it he had gotten a vaccine.
“I was hesitant about the side effects and ingredients. I kind of dismissed it, and then all of a sudden, it became really real, real fast,” said Salazar.
These days, he's sharing his all-too-real encounter with COVID-19.
“I have work to do for God, and I’m so happy to be alive today,” said Salazar.
“Get yourself the vaccinations. I just went through it,” said Salazar as he passed on his care packages on the day of Thanksgiving.
The care packages he is handing out include masks, wipes and soap, wrapped with a heartfelt plea.
“You're in directly line of fire for COVID. Get yourself a shot,” said urged Salazar as he parked on a street in the East Village.
“I sure hope we can save lives with this work. That's my hope. We can save people from this fate. I was at death's door,” said Salazar.
Salazar, who is set to receive his vaccination next month, plans to hand out the care packages every month.