Plano's fire chief got emotional as he was discharged from the hospital after battling COVID-19.
"The real story should be '57-year old man went to the hospital with COVID, a very serious health condition, and angels dressed in scrubs delivered not just world-class healthcare, but they became your surrogate family'," Chief Sam Greif said, calling the hospital staff his heroes.
Medical City Plano shared the video of Chief Greif leaving the hospital Monday after spending 16 days in isolation in the hospital fighting COVID-19.
The latest news from around North Texas.
"I've never spent 16 days in my home before without leaving," Greif said. "I remember seeing my wife at the back of that ambulance, her crying so hard and I was crying... if there's one thing that is gonna haunt me, that visual will stay with me the rest of my life," said Greif.
The first thing he did when he was wheeled out of the elevator was hug his wife Rosemary.
"I don't have words right now," he said to the cheering crowd of onlookers. "I want to say I love everybody. Thank you for getting me back to health and sending me home to my wife, my boys. For the love of God, I want y'all to stay safe out there, you don't want this"
Greif was admitted in critical condition but was cleared to go home Monday. He said his lungs are at 30% capacity and he still has a long road of recovery ahead.
"COVID is vicious. It knows your weakness," Greif said. "In my case, it's my lungs and it knew right where to attack."
Greif said his lungs were compromised by smoke inhalation on the job.
"I'm blessed beyond measure," Greif said. "I'm a survivor."
Greif encouraged everyone not to let their guards down, and to get the vaccine as soon as it's available to them.