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'Harder Than Anything I've Ever Been Through': Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif Goes Home After 16 Days In Hospital With COVID-19

UPDATE: Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif Back At Work Following COVID-19 Battle

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - He's battled raging fires and overseen daring rescues.

But nothing prepared Sam Greif for what he went through over the last 16 days in a Plano hospital.

Chief Greif was discharged from Medical City Plano on Monday, Jan. 18, thanks for the lifesaving work of doctors and nurses.

The staff at Medical City Plano and Plano firefighters lined up to celebrate Sam Greif as he was wheeled out.

Doctors said Greif's survival was in serious question when he checked in more than two weeks ago.

"His case was potentially life-threatening he ended up with pretty decent pneumonia," said Dr. Brandon Meek.

Chief Greif had tears in his eyes as he embraced his wife for the first time in 16 days and left the hospital to cheers that meant everything to him.

"I don't have words right now," Greif said. "I want to say I love everybody. Thanks you for giving me my health and sending me home to my wife."

Sam Greif
Plano Fire Chief Sam Grief discharged from hospital. (J.D. Miles - CBS 11)

The 57-year-old's wife, Rosemary, would hold up signs outside her husband's hospital room during the days he struggled just to breathe.

Monday, she got to bring him home as an early 25th anniversary gift.

"I'm so excited about having him home," she said. "God's been answering a lot of prayers from us."

Firefighters were also there to applaud the popular chief who appreciated the gesture but had a warning for them about what he went through.

"It was way harder than anything I've ever been through and I honestly didn't know if I was gonna get through it or not," he said. "For the love of God boys, y'all don't want this. Stay safe out there."

Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif
Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif with some of his firefighters after leaving the hospital. (J.D. Miles - CBS 11)

The chief was treated with convalescent plasma and his doctors say firefighters are especially at risk.

"If you've been exposed to fire smoke in the past both then sure you've got a much worse chance of having a bad outcome with COVID," said Dr. Meek.

Fortunately Sam Greif had a good outcome.

"I'm just so grateful to God and everybody for the prayers, grateful to Medical City Plano and all my doctors," he said.

The Chief said doctors have told him to stay home for the next two or three weeks while he continues to recover.

He said he plans to go back to work as soon as he's healthy.


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