HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Edward Nakamura knows he owes his life to the doctors and nurses who took care of him in the ICU at Pali Momi Medical Center, where he was hospitalized with COVID-19.
On Sunday, there were cheers and tears of joy as the 61-year-old was discharged.
Nakamura spent 16 days in the hospital, including eight days sedated and on a ventilator.
On Monday, his voice was still raspy but he was still “thrilled” to be home.
He said he doesn’t know how he got coronavirus. At the end of March, he took voluntary furlough from cleaning airplanes at Hawaiian Airlines. And then in early April, he got sick with a fever and trouble breathing.
"Every day it's just unbearable, the pain and suffering," he said.
He tried battling it at home for a week, but then on April 9, he drove himself to Pali Momi’s emergency room.
The virus tested his resolve and the medical staff.
“I had pneumonia and when they tested me for the coronavirus, the results were negative so it took three attempts before it finally tested positive,” he said.
Outside the hospital, the cheers of victory were even louder as throngs of employees came to see the survivor for themselves. It was a celebration of Nakamura’s recovery and the health care workers who made it possible.
Nakamura says he's now virus free and will be cared for by his twin brother, Edwin.
Doctors told Nakamura to remain in isolation at home for three days. He says he's lost a lot of weight and will need weeks of rehabilitation.
To the medical staff at Pali Momi, Nakamura says he's thankful for this second chance at life.
“I beat the odds. I’m very happy to be alive,” said Nakamura.