Recovering from COVID-19, the CEO of a SoCal hospital is applying lessons learned as a patient

Hector Hernandez, the CEO of Los Angeles Community Hospital, is recovering from COVID-19 with a new appreciation for the work done by doctors and nurses.
EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- Hector Hernandez is back to work at Los Angeles Community Hospital in East Los Angeles. He serves as CEO there and at two other Los Angeles hospitals.

"Don't feel invincible. The virus is here," Hernandez said.

It was April 11, his birthday, when he started feeling ill.

With his fever over 100 degrees, he went to the hospital where he tested positive for COVID-19.

But aside from the fever, he was asymptomatic.

"Nothing else, no cough, no shortness of breath, no body aches, nothing else - just the fever," Hernandez said.

And so Hernandez did not require hospitalization. He spent 16 days at home where he continued his duties.

He says that's important for people to know - explaining most people who get COVID-19 have a strong enough immune system to fight off the virus.

The entire experience has given him new appreciation for the medical staff he oversees.

"They leave their families and they are committed to providing the best care to our patients whether they are COVID patients or just regular patients." Hernandez said.

Now that he's recovered, he wants to help in any way he can.

"I believe that something good came out of this," Hernandez said.

He will do this by donating plasma with his COVID-19 antibodies later this month. He's encouraging others to do the same.

"There are patients that need it and we can be a great resource for them for them to get well," Hernandez said.
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