LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An Orange County man is speaking out about his experience with coronavirus.
61-year-old Richard Duke beat cancer twice in the past but was once again fighting for his life when he contracted coronavirus a couple of weeks ago.
“I was at the top of the list of a person who could get it. My age, my compromised immune system and existing cancer already,” Duke said. “So I had all the three checks against me.”
It’s unclear how Duke became infected but he said he had been very careful since he’s at high-risk for serious symptoms.
While in the hospital, he wasn’t allowed to see his children or his wife Claudine, who has tested negative for the virus.
“It’s a hard thing to go through but I’m grateful to the doctors who kept me informed daily, which was a huge help,” his wife said.
Duke got a round of applause send-off by health care workers as he left Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach.
“It really moved me emotionally that they would stop and do that for me,” Duke said. “I was the first COVID-19 patient released from the hospital and I just felt that much more love and cared for by all of them.”
Duke says he’s feeling much better and his home now with his wife, but still can’t see his children yet until he gets an all-clear from another coronavirus test in a few weeks.