TEXAS CITY, Texas -- Friends and family call 75-year-old Louis Cabarubio the "miracle man."
"All I remember is I was fishing one day, and the next day I woke up in the hospital," he said.
"The doctors told us he didn't think that he would make it through the night, from the first night he went in," added Cabarubio's daughter, Norma.
That was back in April, and despite doctors nearly giving up on him, the 75-year-old made it through the first night and many others. He kept fighting.
COVID-19 took over Cabarubio's lungs. He was on a ventilator for weeks. Unable to be with their loved one, family members got on a Zoom call to pray every night at 7:00.
"I really feel that got my dad through this. It was the prayers. The power of prayer is real," said Norma.
The family also Zoomed with the nurses at Mainland Hospital in Texas City. The nurses put the phone up to Cabarubio's ear as family members prayed and told him to fight on.
"They were angels on Earth, and they were working miracles," added Norma.
There were miracles indeed. In the ICU for a month, Cabarubio came off the ventilator just in time to celebrate his 75th birthday, right there in the COVID-19 unit. A few days later, he walked out of the hospital all on his own, to cheers and applause from family and nurses.
"I was so happy and I was crying," explained Cabarubio.
Now back home with this family, Cabarubio has a new favorite shirt that reads, "COVID Survivor 2020."
"I'm proud of it, too. I'm getting stronger everyday. I feel great. I feel like I came out a winner," he said.