The coronavirus attacks its victims in different ways. While most may only suffer mild symptoms, some can experience a far more severe illness.
For about half of the last eight months since the pandemic began, one Southern California father has been in the hospital battling the virus.
Dan Araiza was out working in late July when he came down with a fever. He tested positive for COVID-19 in early August and was placed on a ventilator and an induced coma within two weeks.
"The COVID was being a lot more aggressive on his body than normal cases that they (had seen)," said his wife Carmen Araiza.
She's remained strong, not giving up despite discouraging reports.
"They said, 'well, he might not make it...get his affairs in order, and plan for the worst'," she said through tears.
But following a number of treatments, her husband came out of the coma on Nov. 22.
"I honestly thought he was going to be another statistic. So, it was very, very overwhelming. Finally when he woke up, I was able to sleep," said Araiza's wife.
The family's community of Montebello wrapped them in love during the difficult time -- from their local parish to their son's high school football coaches.
"Little things like that, it just helped tremendously," she said.
Carmen is now the family's sole provider but donations have helped them pay rent and utilities. She filed for Dan's disability insurance, which is still pending.
Family and strangers have generously stepped up to give through a GoFundMe account. The family says Dan still has months of recovery ahead and does not have health insurance through his employment.
After watching her husband fight for his life, Carmen is troubled by those who don't believe how real and serious the virus is.
"Like they say: you don't realize how real it is until your family is affected. And by then it's too late. You don't want... to go through what I went through, or what my family went through, or what others have gone through and then are still going through."
SoCal father wakes up from induced coma after monthslong battle with severe case of COVID-19
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