He spent three months in the intensive care unit sickened with coronavirus symptoms months before a vaccine was readily available.
He spends every day thankful for his wife who pushed him to go to the hospital two weeks after Christmas.
"The doctor told me and my wife that if it wasn't for my wife driving me that day, that time, I would have died," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and his family had already been going through a rough patch. On Christmas Eve just two weeks before his son was fatally shot and died in Gonzalez's arms.
If that wasn't bad enough, he experienced much of that grief while in the hospital fighting for his own life.
Gonzalez spent three months in the ICU sick with COVID.
At one point, he was given his last rites. Doctors told his family he wasn't going to make it.
But now he's home and ever so slowly recuperating.
"COVID really impacted my life so much that I can't do the things I used to do no more," he said.
He's doing all the things doctors have instructed him to do so he can recover. But COVID hasn't only taken a toll on Gonzalez's body, but it's monetarily drained him.
His family set up a GoFundMe page.
He credits his faith and family's prayers for his survival, and he's urging everyone who hasn't been vaccinated to get their shot.
"I survived COVID-19. I lived it. I fought it," Gonzalez said. "And not too many people get that chance and opportunity to get a second chance in life."