Azusa Mayor Robert Gonzales sounded a little hoarse and he faced shortness of breath. However he’s happy to be alive after a vicious battle with COVID-19 that consisted of 33 days in two medical facility stays, where he was twice intubated.
” I’m feeling better,” he stated Tuesday evening, Feb. 16, ahead of joining his first City Council conference (essentially) because his ordeal started in early December. “I’m gradually recovering. It’s simply a long procedure.”
Making his journey a lot more strenuous: Along the way, he contracted COVID-19-related Severe Breathing Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a severe infection of the lungs.
” Oh, it was extremely frightening,” he said.
Rochelle Betancourt-Gonzales, spouse of Azusa Mayor Robert Gonzales, said she sobbed privately day-to-day as her hubby fought tooth and nail to survive COVID-19. (Image by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer).
Azusa Mayor Robert Gonzales speaks throughout the City of Azusa Public Art Commitment at the Azusa Downtown Gold Line Station in Asuza, Calif. on Thursday April 25, 2019. (Image by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Professional Photographer).
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Azusa Mayor Robert Gonzales and his other half Rochelle sit together outdoors Town hall on Wednesday February 17, 2021. The Mayor had a near-death battle with COVID-19 and was hospitalized a second time after being house for a couple of days. (Picture by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Professional Photographer).
How it began
The journey started with a cough, and his initial refusal to go to the emergency room despite the fact that his partner, Rochelle, strongly recommended he do that.
” I didn’t listen to my body since I believed I could hard it out,” Mayor Gonzales, 50, stated through telephone. “And I found out a valuable lesson– listen to your body. It’ll tell you when it’s not feeling right. And go get help right away.
” I didn’t do that. I kind of waited to go to the emergency situation because I thought ego, I thought I can tough it out and it wasn’t actually affecting me. It practically cost me my life since I didn’t listen. Typical Latino male, we tough it out, right?”.
He handled a small laugh.
” My spouse was the one that said, ‘We’re going to the emergency,'” stated Gonzales, who deals with his wife and their 2 daughters. “Even then I’m like, ‘Nah, simply provide me a couple of days.’ It was a little cough.”.
It turned out to be a huge offer.
” It wasn’t anything that I believed was terrible,” Gonzales said. “However, apparently, it can be found in pneumonia. The COVID pneumonia is simply pretty much among the worse things you can get.
” And whatever you can get that’s bad, I got, for lack of a much better term.”.
Gonzales went into the medical facility on Dec. 2, was intubated and released on Dec. 28. He was right back in the emergency room on Dec. 31 on his way to spending several more days in the healthcare facility, where he was once again intubated because of ARDS.
It was a lot to manage. For his partner, also.
” Numerous feelings surface as I reflect back on the weeks my other half was hospitalized– fear of the unidentified, sadness I might not be near, joyfulness with all the love and support he and my household received,” Rochelle Betancourt-Gonzales said. “Personal tears became my daily acquaintance, but so did determination to think difficult and to keep the faith no matter the circumstances.
” I was definitely worried and distressed every day, placing all my trust in the impressive medical personnel and God’s pledges.”.
A hard road
Once Gonzales was released from the medical facility in early January, he still had a long way to go– and still does. At first, he was bedridden.
” I was unable to stroll on my own since of my lack of strength and muscle loss,” Gonzales said. “Obviously, I was on oxygen due to the fact that the lungs had been damaged. So it’s simply a great deal of recovery. Thank God, now. I just saw my pulmonary medical professional today therefore I’m no longer on oxygen.
” I’m still winded, however I no longer have to take oxygen to endure. … And I’m no longer on a walker or require help to walk.”.
Although he is feeling much better and relatively out of the woods, the healing is not total.
” My body will return to regular,” Gonzales stated. “I’ll get strength, I’ll get muscle, I’ll get all that back. However my lungs, I only get one set and I don’t understand. That’s the fear of the recurring damage of obviously being intubated twice.
” What are my long-lasting results going to be? That’s my worry. Am I going to talk like this for the rest of my life? Am I going to lack breath?”.
He had a message to provide about the coronavirus.
” This COVID-19, a lot of folks think it’s a hoax,” Gonzales said. “I can tell them I’m a pure example of, it is not. And I want this on nobody.”.
Gonzales said he got a psychological boost from politicians across the San Gabriel Valley. One, City Councilman Sam Kang of Duarte, dropped off a goody bag on his doorstep throughout the early phases of his hospitalization.
” It’s been definitely terrific to hear from chosen officials all around the Valley with their assistance,” Gonzales stated. “Not just my neighborhood of Azusa, but other cities’ Mayor-elects that have sent well-wishes and prayers, and it’s simply been frustrating with that support.”.
He also wished to ensure and thank the medical personnels at Inter-Community Medical facility in Covina and Foothill Presbyterian Hospital in Glendora.
” I’m alive because of them and due to the fact that of my faith,” Gonzales stated. “I have a supportive household. My wife has been definitely sensational with our daughters, offering me the strength to want to get house and want to improve.”.
As for Rochelle, she’s simply happy she has her spouse back, his difficult roadway ahead regardless of.
” My hubby was hospitalized for an overall of 33 days,” she stated. “He absolutely got home in a different body, shaken and bruised a bit, but with the same heart and determination to fight.
” His journey to healing is ongoing and has actually not been easy, however we are tackling each day with a positive outlook. We understand the result might have been a really different one and for that we will be permanently and ever grateful.”