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‘Fight until the end:’ Ky. man finally going home after long battle with COVID, rehab

After a six-month long hospital stay, a double lung transplant and weeks in rehabilitation...
After a six-month long hospital stay, a double lung transplant and weeks in rehabilitation therapy, Victor Gonzales Villatoro is finally going home.(WKYT)
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After a six-month long hospital stay, a double lung transplant and weeks in rehabilitation therapy, Victor Gonzales Villatoro is finally going home.

Villatoro’s wife, Kerrie Gonzales, and his physical therapist, Joe Townsend, proudly watched as Villatoro walks, on his own, out of Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. He’s finally able to go home to his two children, who are 11 and 14.

But six months ago, Villatoro’s family was told he had almost no chance of survival.

Villatoro was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September. He was flown to UK Hospital on September 26. The disease ravaged his lungs, leaving him in a coma for months.

When he came out of it, he got stronger through physical therapy and made it on the lung transplant list. He got his new set of lungs on March 1, and left UK on March 23.

He spent the next few weeks in rehab, and what his doctors can only contribute to his determined spirit, is already going home.

“Fight until the end. You could make it you know, but if you give up, you’ll never know. So keep doing it,” he said.

“Probably the day they told me he was not going to make it was the hardest day for me. But I never gave up. I told them I would never give up. I know he has the fighting spirit. He just needed time is all it was,” Kerrie said.

Villatoro will of course have follow-up doctor appointments, but will be able to do most of his recovery at home.

Villatoro will continue his outpatient therapy at Cardinal Hill. He said he hopes his story also serves as a reminder to get vaccinated if you can and haven’t yet.

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Get the WKYT News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.(WKYT)

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