27-year-old hospitalized with COVID-19 for 164 days heads home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After battling COVID-19 for 164 days, 27-year-old Fabian Granado finally walked out of the UF Health Jacksonville doors Tuesday afternoon.

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All types of emotions were in the air as hospital staff watched Granado get wheeled out, with cheers and signs waved in the air.

“Today, it’s been a long five-and-a-half months at the hospital,” Granado said. “Getting my lungs healed and being able to talk and walk, and being able to be a human again. It’s wonderful.”

Fabian told Action News Jax that in August 2021, he couldn’t stop coughing. His roommates were able to get him out of bed and to an ambulance as he began to suffer shortness of breath. His heart even stopped a couple times.

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Fabian was unvaccinated against COVID-19, but he says he wished he had made that decision.

“I’m pretty sure if I would have had [the vaccine], it would have been a lot better,” Fabian said. “I wouldn’t have suffered nearly as much.”

Action New Jax first told you about Fabian’s battle with COVID-19 back in November.

He was placed on a ventilator and ECMO machine in the ICU and managed to stand up for the first time that month.

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At one point, Fabian was in a coma for two months.

He’s from Garland, Texas and had only planned to be in Florida for a short amount of time for commercial diving school.

“With the doctor’s help, the nurses and everybody here were amazing, keeping me alive. It was also part of God’s will,” Fabian said.

Now, he’s finally able to go home with his family and celebrate his 28th birthday next Tuesday.

“I thought I was invincible,” Fabian said. “Of course I was wrong. Feel free to get your vaccine. It can’t hurt. Do the right thing. Do what you believe in.”

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Fabian’s father, Rene Granado, said their faith in God kept them strong.

“I came to Florida from Texas thinking I was coming to bury my son,” Rene said. “When I got here and saw the condition he was in, I saw there was a real possibility that he was not going to come back home alive.”

Rene said that would have been the worst experience any parent could go through.

“I remember sitting by his bed and watching his bed the same way I did when he was a baby,” Rene said. “Blood coming out of his mouth and through tubes, oxygen levels low and not conscious. Horrible.”

Now, Fabian is on minimal oxygen and doctors shared that his recovery can be viewed as “profound.”

Fabian thanked the entire hospital staff and his family for staying by his side the entire time.