SARASOTA, Fla. — A Sarasota man encourages everyone to wear a mask after he was hospitalized for 5 weeks with COVID-19.
John Musto, 68, contracted the virus in late July. His wife, Kathie, also tested positive.
The couple does not know how they contracted the virus.
"Being in the bed for so long, I lost muscle mass in my legs, incredibly. My wife told me my legs were like pencils. I had so much difficulty walking from the couch to the kitchen. It was very difficult, very difficult, " said John Musto.
Musto said his wife never felt sick. He had cold-like symptoms and then developed a fever and trouble breathing.
A pulse oximeter showed that his oxygen levels had dropped to around 74. It was below normal levels in the mid-90s.
"Kathie dropped me off in the emergency room of course. She couldn't go in. They tested me right away and said they were going to admit me," said Musto.
Musto spend five weeks in the hospital. He was hospitalized in an intensive care unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. He needed a ventilator for 3 days.
"I knew it was very, very serious when they put me in intensive care. At that point, I said to myself, I have no control, nothing I can do is going to help. I am going to leave this in God's hands," said Musto.
His wife received updates from the nurses and doctors. They would also FaceTime her on the phone.
"He was fighting every day as hard as it was," said Kathie Musto.
"My doctors were absolutely amazing. They have no concern about their own safety or health. All they care about is the patients, that's all they care about and they show it. It makes you feel comforted to know that," said Musto.
Musto was treated with convalescent plasma and remdesivir. He said doctors questioned if he would survive.
"He didn't think I was going to make it. My lungs were full of the virus. He showed me the X-ray, full of virus and now they are clear," he said. "While I was in intensive care, the nurses told me that I was the only one, there were about 34 patients in intensive care at that time, I was the only one that was off the ventilator."
Musto said he dropped 50 pounds about a year before he contracted COVID-19. He would bike daily and go to the gym.
He had suffered 2 strokes in the past and also has Type-2 diabetes.
"I was in extremely good health when I contracted it. As a matter of fact, my doctors told me I would have not survived if that was not the case," he said.
Musto encourages people to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
"You really don't know what it's going to be like so yes, it's really a blessing. He's really back to himself like how he was before," said Kathie.