ALAMO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — For the last six months, an Alamo man has been adjusting to a new life after contracting COVID-19.
Pepe Forina underwent a double amputation and shared his journey to recovery. In July, the father of two children, Forina tested positive for COVID-19, days later was admitted to the hospital.
“My breathing had gone down quite a bit, I was in the Covid unit for about two weeks,” said Forina.
Forina thought he would be home as soon as possible however that didn’t happen after his medical condition took a turn for the worse.
“A few days before August 11, they called her [my wife] and told her ‘he’s doing good. You know he’s gonna be alright.” However, Forina goes on to say later the hospital called her back and said “I wasn’t expected to make it through overnight.”
However, Forina remarkably made it through the night, surprising his own doctors like Dr. Federico Vallejo, a Pulmonary and Critical Care Doctor at DHR Health.
Dr. Vallejo said it isn’t uncommon to see these cases from COVID-19 patients like Forina, who suffers from Diabetes, Sepsis, Hypertension, along with a mixture of high-risk factors.
“COVID itself can cause blood clots, we know 15% will have it. Then the use of medications to try to protect the heart and the brain,” said Dr. Vallejo.
Forina said when his feet started to turn black doctors recommended amputating both legs below the knee.
During his hospital stay, Forina lost his father. He now keeps a picture of the last time the two of them talked by his bedside as motivation in therapy.
“I promised him that I would walk again,” said Forina.
As he is still working on that promise, Forina has reached some goals.
“In the morning I will get out of bed, get in my wheelchair and come outside,” he said.
He has turned his greatest challenge into a positive by using the power of his journey on social media to let others know of his story. He also hasn’t been alone in recovery with his wife right by his side.
“We took our vows for better or for worse for sick or poor and sure enough she’s been with me,” said Forina.
Forina is waiting to get prosthetics as his wounds heal and the minute he does he will give thanks to his religion and his dad.
If he could go back he said he would get the vaccine and hopes others can learn from his experience.
“It’s a personal choice if you want to get it done, get it done. If you don’t want to get it done, don’t get it done; but if you don’t do it [get vaccinated] there’s consequences,” said Forina.