Joshua Garza, 43, of Sugarland, [Texas], decided not to get vaccinated in January because he didn’t think he needed it. Later that month, he tested positive and became severely ill.
“COVID ended up attacking my lungs,” he told ABC News. “It was quick, it was within 3 weeks, the lungs were already shot.”
In early February, Garza fell down while trying to walk in his house, and his wife called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital.
Garza was put on the lung transplant list and was able to undergo surgery in mid-April. He spent several weeks in recovery and was released from the hospital on May 27.
Lung transplants are rare for COVID-19 patients but sometimes necessary for those who don’t have any other options, ABC News reported. Houston Methodist has performed eight double lung transplants on COVID-19 patients and has several patients who are waiting for a transplant right now while on life support.
Garza told ABC News that he’s sharing his story to help others and prevent them from experiencing what he did.
“If I knew what I know now, I would have definitely went through with the vaccination,” he said.