Doctor Survives Severe COVID-19 Infection

Despite taking precautions, Dr. Jaxel Lopez became infected while administering a COVID-19 test

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Healthcare workers are three times more likely to get COVID-19, even with personal protective equipment, according to a report recently published in The Lancet.

It's a risk many North Texas doctors take every day, but for one family practitioner in Irving, it nearly took his life.

Intubated in a hospital bed is where Dr. Jaxel Lopez, 36, found himself despite, he says, doing everything possible to protect himself from COVID-19.

Even with PPE, he believes he became infected with the new coronavirus while administering a COVID test on a child.

"Because of the upward angle, if they cough, it can actually go through your protective equipment and the week before all this started, that happened to me," said Lopez.

Lopez said he tried to ride it out at home and took all the medications available to him, Including steroids and IV fluids, however it wasn't enough and he said he was forced to call 911.

"Everything that could happen to a patient happened to me. I ended up having pneumonia and hepatitis. I had cardiomyopathy, which is a strain to the heart. I had kidney failure. I ended up having blood clots and need blood thinners," said Lopez.

He posted a picture of himself while with a breathing a tube in his throat, before his body's immune system gained the upper hand.

He had no underlying conditions and said he was in great health, but now struggles to take a full breathe as he slowly recovers.

"I'm here as a COVID survivor, thanks to the grace of God, the power of prayer, willpower and stubbornness," said Lopez.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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