SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – William “Bill” Bloom thought COVID-19 was a hoax until the virus nearly took his life.
“I didn’t believe in it. I didn’t care to wear a mask,” said Bloom. “I didn’t think it would affect me.”
He was taken to Methodist Hospital Northeast July 27, where Dr. John Eric Stupka, a pulmonologist, says Bloom was near death.
“The second day that I saw Mr. Bloom, he had significantly worsened in terms of respiratory function and was requiring extremely high levels of oxygen support,” said Dr. Christopher Everett, another pulmonologist.
Methodist Hospital Northeast says Bloom spent 17 days on a ventilator, including his 53rd birthday. His tubes were removed on August 13 and he was discharged September 5.
“I’ve been home for weeks and still have horrific pain,” said Bloom.
Dr. Stupka and Dr. Everett have noticed their patients face lengthy recovery periods after they’re released from the hospital.
“Many of our COVID patients went home requiring oxygen supplementation, have chronic exertional dyspnea post COVID and required extensive rehabilitation services because of severe weakness related to prolonged hospitalization,” Dr. Everette explained.
Dr. Stupka says Bloom’s history of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease increased his risk for complications, but it was COVID-19 that nearly took his life.
In a press release from Methodist Hospital, Bloom said he wanted to share his story so that others don’t have to go through the pain and suffering that he and his family, as well as the care teams endured.
“It’s simple–wear a mask, social distance, keep your hands clean. It’s so easy to cut down the risk of losing a life–a mother, father, brother or sister,” said Bloom. “I changed my opinion about everything.”