'Make sure I wake up. I have a daughter': After 2 months unconscious, COVID-19 survivor reunited with family

Cheers echoed through an Inglewood hospital as a COVID-19 survivor was reunited with his family.

ByMiriam Hernandez via WTVD logo
Friday, July 10, 2020
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Shortly before he was intubated and lost consciousness for two months, 32-year-old Michael Orantes had a plea for his doctor: "Make sure I wake up. I have a daughter."

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Cheers echoed through the hospital halls as COVID-19 survivor Michael Orantes was finally ushered back into the arms of his family.

It had been touch-and-go for the 32-year-old construction worker who was hospitalized for 93 days.

The head of the hospital said that Orantes battled a "catastrophic storm."

A lung collapsed repeatedly.

"His heart started taking a pounding. His brain started taking a beating," Dr. Paryus Patel said.

Orantes descended quickly after a trip to Spain. He was on a respirator, unconscious for over two months.

He's from a devoutly Christian family. His mother calls his awakening a resurrection.

"We give thanks to God that he has done a miracle to our son Michael," Pedro Orantes said.

The patient prayed for for a miracle, too.

He thought about his 2-year-old girl, Elizabeth, who missed him at home.

The outlook was dire in the moments before he was intubated.

Still, he mustered a plea: "He said, 'Make sure I wake up. I have a daughter,'" said Dr. Anna Carchi with Centinela Hospital.

"So that crushed me. Heartbreaking,"

With heaving sobs, relatives took turns embracing Orantes as members of their church sang and praised the Centinela Hospital staff.

Orantes' medical team did not take a single day off at this community hospital for 90 days.

The hospital doctor says it was their moral duty.

"Treating patients and saving lives. Is that something of amazement? No, that is our job," said Dr. Patel.