Brian Lundstrum's family says the 79-year-old was healthy. But that changed last month when he started with a cough, followed by other symptoms, including a fever and loss of energy.
His granddaughter told Eyewitness News he tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 13 - though he wasn't admitted to the hospital since he had no underlying health conditions.
"My grandma was taking care of him and then it slowly got worse. He wasn't eating, we weren't seeing any improvements at all," said his granddaughter, Lindsey Redmann.
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On March 28, Lundstrum's wife called 911 and he was taken into the ICU at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Murrieta, where he spent more than 20 days. At one point during his hospitalization, Lundstrum was breathing 100% through a ventilator.
His wife of 58 years tested negative for the virus but, due to the quarantine, she was alone and relied on calls from doctors and nurses for updates.
"It's kind of like constant fear. Every time you hear the phone ring you don't know if it's going to be good news or bad news," Redmann said.
The good news came on Monday when Lundstrum was taken off the ventilator and began to breath completely on his own.
His granddaughter says they expect he'll be out of the ICU later this week. She says she hopes sharing his story will give hope to others who may be watching loved ones battle COVID-19.
Coronavirus: 75-year-old Saugus man beats COVID-19 after 2 weeks in hospital