Houston man praises local medical workers for helping him survive COVID-19

A local businessman is out of the hospital after surviving severe symptoms from COVID-19. Now he's thanking his medical workers and spreading the positive message about his experience.

"It started to where I couldn't breathe and my lung capacity went down fast. You couldn't take big breaths, you could barely take small breaths," states Danny Davis.

He was fearful for his life, when he realized what he first thought was just a summer cold was actually COVID-19.

"The oxygen level in my blood was like 70, and BOOM! Thirty minutes later I was in that emergency room, hooking me up with oxygen and doing their routine. It was just unbelievable," explains Danny.

He falls in the high-risk group because of heart stents, and he's a three-time cancer survivor – melanoma that at one time, spread to his lungs.

"The doctors told me when COVID pneumonia gets in your lungs and locks them up, that's when your trouble starts, and that's what happened to me," says Danny.

Danny spent a week in ICU at Memorial Hermann - Memorial City.

"The procedure they're doing at Memorial Hermann - I personally think it's a miracle! They've got it down. These guys are good! They've got their protocol down," says Danny.

Instead of talking about what he had to endure to survive COVID-19, he's concentrating on the medical workers who helped fight for his life.

"I'll never be able to refer to a nurse as a nurse again in my life. They're warriors. They come in there and do everything they can. They're not afraid of anything. Nothing, I'd be scared to death going in that room. I was in there," says Danny.

Yes, he was in there on some serious equipment to help keep him alive.

"They hooked me up immediately to this 100% oxygen machine, and so powerful that when they put it on me immediately when I went in there, they have to tape it to your face. We had to tape it down just to hold it in, and I mean it's filling your lungs with warm oxygen, helping break everything up, and it works," explains Danny.

Danny says the nurses and doctors at Memorial Hermann never let him think for a second that he wasn't going to make it. That's from day one, when it all started with his doctor in the emergency room.

"He came in here and says ‘you got the COVID man, but you know what, we're going to get you out of here. You're going to be just fine, you hang in here with us, we got this!’ He had no fear and he had confidence, and then the people who came in behind him were even more confident," smiles Danny.

Dr. Shabana Walia is an E.R. doctor on the front line at Memorial Hermann and is pleased with Danny's outcome.

"First of all, it makes me feel really great, a lot of gratitude. I feel very thankful that in this uncertain and disastrous time, we have some patients out there who are having positive experiences, I think that's one of most important things," states Dr. Walia.

She says in the emergency department, they always push for positive attitudes to give patients hope, even in the grimmest circumstances.

"Patients are presenting on the worst day of their life. So for us, it's just another day. We're going to work, but we often see them at their worst time, and so we are used to being their cheerleader, and especially the nurses. They do such a great job at that. I think that working together as a team to help these patients is what helps get them better! Positive attitudes have been proven in some studies to actually help outcomes, and I think that's really important," says Dr. Walia.

Those cheerleaders are needed. Since visitors aren't allowed most of the time during the pandemic, Danny says the hospital workers help fill that void, including the staff who cleaned his room.

"They become your family. You're not alone. They come in there and they carry you, they visit with you, they talk with you, talk about their families. Of course, I'm thanking them for their courage and everything they do, but you're not alone, you are far from alone, they become your family," reflects Danny.

He has now tested negative for the virus and is able to go back to work.

Memorial Hermann offers this information about COVID- 19: www.memorialhermann.org/coronavirus