A Chula Vista city councilman who was sent to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for treatment of COVID-19 says he is showing progress in his weeks-long battle with the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
"Friends – I’m off the ventilator, out of the ICU, and will be home soon," Council Member Steve Padilla said in a series of tweets Friday.
When Padilla first tested positive on March 15, Padilla said in a video message to constituents that he was "doing very well and feeling very well." But within days, his symptoms worsened, according to his daughter, and he was admitted to UCSD Health and placed in the ICU.
A symptom of COVID-19 is shortness of breath. Some, like Padilla, experience symptoms so severe, a respirator is necessary to help them breathe.
On Friday, Padilla was grateful to be going home thanks to the hospital staff that "saved his life."
"America’s healthcare professionals are true heroes showing undaunted courage on the frontlines of this fight," he said.
In the series of tweets, Padilla reiterated a message he shared through his daughter while he was on a respirator in the hospital -- the threat of COVID-19 is serious.
"Take it from me: the threat of coronavirus is as serious as it is real. We all need to stay home, and follow County Public Health guidelines to stop the spread and save lives that are at risk," Padilla urged.
Padilla was the first COVID-19 patient reported among San Diego County government representatives. He serves as the local representative for Chula Vista's third district and on the California Coastal Commission.