Tampa minister released from hospital after 2-month battle with COVID-19

Carlos Cepeda credits doctors for saving his life
Posted at 10:29 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 23:30:16-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Tampa minister credits God and the doctors for saving his life after battling COVID-19 for more than two months.

Carlos Cepeda had a cough, fever and shortness of breath in July. He went to an emergency room after having trouble breathing.

"He went in on a Friday. He went to the emergency room on a Friday and by Monday morning he couldn't breathe at all on his own and they put him on a ventilator," said his wife, Donna Cepeda.

Cepeda was hospitalized at Tampa General Hospital for more than two months. He said he does not remember much. His wife shared his journey on Facebook.

"We had a lot of people praying which is the only reason we put it on Facebook so that our friends would see and know to pray for him," said his wife.

Cepeda is a Tampa minister at Glory Ministries International.

He credits God and the team at Tampa General for saving his life. He was on a ventilator for weeks.

"Definitely like God gave me a second chance to live," said Cepeda.

Cepeda wants people to take this virus seriously.

"This is very serious. It's an invisible enemy that my gosh is so horrible," he said.

His wife was unable to visit him in the hospital due to COVID-19 visitation restrictions.

"They did not allow visitors there and so we didn't get to see each other face to face until almost right before he was released," she recalled.

She would use FaceTime to speak to him while he remained in an intensive care unit.

"You're a fighter. You're going to get through this. You're going to rise up and walk. You're going to walk out of there. God is with you. He's going to get you through this and that's exactly what happened," said his wife.

Cepeda lost 65 pounds while he was hospitalized. He spent days in a rehabilitation center.

He needed time to walk and talk again. He went home last week after a two-month hospital stay.

"Appreciate every single minute that you are here on planet earth," he said.

"It was a big blessing to have friends, family, people in general who heard about it and joined in to pray. It was really a miracle from God that he got through it," added his wife.

Cepeda will need regular check-ups. He said he is feeling much better.