HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu police officer is taking the next steps down his road to recovery following an intense bout with COVID-19.
Officer BJ Miralles left The Queen’s Medical Center late Friday after a two-month-long battle with the virus.
Loved ones said COVID temporarily took away his ability to speak, move and breathe on his own as he was hooked up to a ventilator during his treatment.
“I knew from the beginning he just wanted to be home,” his wife Rochelle Miralles said, describing his love for his family. “It was such a long road, but every day, it was hard to try and not to show that emotion to my kids.”
After being released, BJ was discharged to a rehab facility where he will continue to gain back strength and motor skills — but not before being able to embrace his wife and children.
“It’s scary. I didn’t think that I would get hit this hard, but I’m glad that — if something was to happen, that it happened to me and not any of my family members,” BJ said. “I couldn’t handle if anything bad happened to them.”
He also thanked the staff at Queen’s for their impeccable care, along with the community members for their prayers and donations.
Over $34,000 was donated through a GoFundMe page set up to help the Miralles ohana during the COVID fight.
Doctors credited what’s called ECMO treatment with saving his life.
“ECMO is basically life support,” Dr. Dipanjan Banerjee said. “If you can’t give the body enough oxygen during that time, the patient doesn’t survive. So the ECMO gave his body enough oxygen and basically allowed his lungs and his whole body to heal and recover.”
It’s not known when BJ will be able to return to work at HPD, but for now, he’s focusing on rehab for the months to come.
“It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but I’ll be back soon,” BJ added.