DALLAS/FORT WORTH, TEXAS — A Texas man is cautioning people to take COVID-19 seriously. Hugo Miranda has been battling the virus since the end of last year.
This week, Hugo Miranda rolled down the hallway at PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Richardson for the last time to ring the bell, marking the end of his stay and his return home.
"It's joy," Miranda said, his eyes filled with tears. "Never stop fighting. Have a lot of faith. That's what kept me alive."
Miranda went to Methodist Hospital in December 2020 for complications due to COVID-19. He was there until March, when he was transferred to Vibra, a specialty hospital on the Methodist Hospital Continuing Care Campus, and then rehabilitation.
Miranda is the co-founder of Hugo's restaurant in Irving. In the months he's been away from work, he lost 60-pounds.
"I will be able to see my kids again. Be with them," Miranda said. "Just be alive!"
Hospital staff, family, and friends lined the exit of the rehab center to send Miranda off with cheers, and prayers, and hugs.
"It's cool, cause I get to see him every day at my house," Miranda's daughter Sofia said.
"I never stopped praying for my husband the whole time," Beatriz Miranda said.
Miranda thanked the doctors and nurses as he left, with gospel music playing on a speaker next to him.
"Thanking God for everything he did for me," Miranda said. "It just means life to me."
Miranda still has months of outpatient rehabilitation to get his strength back to where it was before COVID-19 hit.
-Noelle Walker, KXAS NBCDFW