A MedStar paramedic was back at work Friday, 74 days after he entered the hospital because of serious COVID-19 complications.
"It feels great to be back,” Ruben Cisneros said. “I missed it and I'm glad to be here."
Cisneros, who received a double lung transplant three years ago, suffered setbacks after he first got sick Christmas Eve.
He developed sepsis and an immune disorder that affected his nervous system.
The latest news from around North Texas.
"I never thought I'd make it out of the hospital,” Cisneros said. “There were my times of doubt. Thank God I'm here and I'm really grateful."
Cisneros said he has no idea how he got infected but added he treated four or five COVID-19 patients a day as a paramedic.
As a patient, his condition seemed to grow worse by the day.
"I couldn't swallow,” Cisneros said. “. I had to eat through a tube for like four weeks. I couldn't stand at all. I couldn't even dial my phone."
He said he now feels 100 percent but isn’t sure how his endurance will hold up.
"I thought I"d never make it out of there but Good Lord willing, here I am,” he said.
But Cisneros said he can’t wait to work again as a medic – his life’s passion.
"Knowing that I gave it my best shot, that's my reward really,” he said. “I never thought I needed a reward or somebody to pat me on the back. As long as I know that I did the best I could to help somebody, that's my reward."
At 65, Cisneros is the oldest medic on MedStar’s staff.
He said he’ll give it another year and then consider retiring.