LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA) — Nurses clapped from the doors of Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach Thursday as they sent off their latest coronavirus survivor.
And on Friday, a Ladera Ranch family will get to experience the same joyous moment when husband and father Brian Patnoe is released.
"He's got a lot of grit, you know," Nikki Patnoe, Brian's wife, said. "He's an ex-Marine and has that mentality."
But Brian's release from the hospital was far from guaranteed, and Nikki said that for every step forward, he husband took 10 steps back.
"I probably have cried more in this last 35 days than I have in my entire life," she said.
Brian was hospitalized in March and placed on a ventilator before developing a secondary infection.
Doctors treated him with Vitamin C, zinc, antibiotics and a couple of different antiviral medications, and he eventually started breathing and talking on his own.
"We were so happy," Nikki said. "And I was like, 'Oh my god, I can finally go to bed and, like, sleep.'"
But the very next day, doctors called to say that he was back on the ventilator and that the only options at that point were a tracheotomy or hospice.
The family, for the second time, thought they would lose Brian, but he still had more fight left in him.
"He wasn't ready to go," Nikki said. "He didn't give up."
And the community didn't give up either. Supporters filled the parking lot of the hospital to honk and pray, and Nikki and her family prayed too.
And as they prayed, Brian later said he started dreaming.
"And every time I had a dream of you, I was at peace," Nikki recalled him saying.
Eventually Brian recovered enough to be transferred to a second hospital where he would undergo rehabilitation.
Two of his therapists said working with Brian on his recovery journey has been a pleasure.
Nikki said the family was planning a huge Friday homecoming for Brian, but she said none of it would have been possible without all of the medical professionals who were with him every step of the way.
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