Survivor story: At 87, SoCal Navy veteran's battle with COVID-19 leads to victory

In a vulnerable age group, 87-year-old Navy vet Victorino Mercado discusses how he beat coronavirus after two weeks in an Oxnard hospital.
OXNARD, Calif. (KABC) -- In an age group seen as most vulnerable to the coronavirus, 87-year-old Victorino Mercado is a survivor.

After a two-week stay in the hospital, Mercado beat COVID-19.

He's a retired U.S. Navy master chief, married for 64 years. He and his wife are now staying with their daughter after a two-week stay at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.

Mercado was isolated with no family visits. The only human contact he had was with the medical staff.

"When you are with your family the rest of your life since you retired from the service, and then you get isolated - the feeling is not the same," he said.

Earlier this year, Mercado visited his native Philippines. When he returned home, he was hospitalized for a non-coronavirus medical issue.

Then after that hospital stay he tested positive for the virus.

His wife, two of his daughters and one son all self-quarantined in an Oxnard home. They've all tested negative for COVID-19. They're grateful for the care Victorino received at St. John's.

Daughter Helena Marino says "the fact that's he's come out of it - because of the loving care that was given to him by the doctors but especially the nursing staff over at St. John's. It just shows how remarkable his story is that he was able to survive it."

Ventura County on Monday reported it has 825 confirmed cases.

Victorino didn't want to be a tragic statistic.

"Being in the service, I learned to manage, say hey, that's not me. If I have to die then I'll accept it. There's nothing much I can do."

Now Victorino Mercado is among the over 500 cases in Ventura County who have recovered.
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