'They keep me alive:' Van Nuys hospital worker goes home after lengthy COVID-19 treatment

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The staff at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys had a moment of celebration this week when one of their own finally got to go home after finishing treatment and rehabilitation from COVID-19.

"They help me a lot, they keep me alive, they never give up with me," said Jesse Nieves, now a COVID-19 survivor. "They try and try and try until I got to this position where I am."

Doctors say Jesse Nieves' recovery is incredible.

Prior conditions made the illness worse for him. He spent most of the month of January in the hospital and had been in rehab since then.

"We don't often see this degree of great success where with all of the problems that he has had over this prolonged period of time, that he was successfully rehabilitated we're able to celebrate a return to real life for him." said Dr. Leonard Joseph Adelson, a pulmonary physician.

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Jesse works at Valley Presbyterian as an engineer. His story of recovery has inspired the entire staff at the hospital.

"It's been really cathartic for the whole organization to be able to say goodbye," said Lori Cardle, the hospital's chief operating officer. "To watch him watch out healthy is just amazing, especially after all of the patients that we have managed throughout this COVID pandemic. It's just been really, really great to watch one of our own recover and walk out of the hospital."

Jesse's wife, Leticia, who also contracted COVID, was able to visit Jesse and support him while he was receiving treatment.

"During this difficult time of COVID and the suspension of visitations, it was very important to work with his wife...who was able to visit with her loved one everyday just to ensure that he was getting the emotional support that he needed," said Jessica Hernandez-Arana with Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

Now, Leticia is happy to have her husband healthy and safe at home.

"Here we are, especially him. We thank God for all his blessings and we're home," she said.

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