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Man Finally Discharged From Hospital After 8-Month Battle With COVID-19

Eduardo Moreno, 32, was released from Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla T...

Credit: Pool photo via 10News

Above: Eduardo Moreno, 32, was released from Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla Tuesday morning after an eight month hospital battle with COVID-19 that nearly cost him his life.

"He wanted to live."

After eight months battling COVID-19, Eduardo Moreno, 32, was released from Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla on Tuesday morning.

The battle nearly cost him his life.

"We’re going home — thank God," said Moreno's mother, Cecilia Amador, wiping away tears.

Moreno’s lungs are still recovering. While he did not want to be interviewed on the day of his release, his mother said his recovery has been an emotional roller coaster.

"We didn't have any visitors, so it was very hard for me to be home," Amador said, fighting back tears while standing next to her son in a wheelchair.

Moreno lives in Los Angeles but often visits family in Mexico. While in Ensenada last July, he started developing coronavirus symptoms and traveled back across the border, where he was admitted to Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista before being transferred to La Jolla.

"He was very critical and they told us that he wasn’t going to make it," Amador said. "From there on, he went into a coma for three months."

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

Reported by Matt Hoffman

Doctors diagnosed Moreno with advanced respiratory failure due to COVID-19 pneumonia.

"We decided to go for life support which is a manner of taking your blood and going through a machine so as to take over his lung function," said Scripps Health Dr. David “Scott” McCaul, who was caring for Moreno during his stay.

There were multiple surgeries, and for months Moreno was entirely dependent on machines. Scripps officials said he was on life support for six months, and his lungs did not heal enough to start breathing on his own until January.

"He went through any number of challenges to get to that level of independence," McCaul said. "To deal with the anxiety, the pain to fight through, and because of that, he’s a model for all of us."

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His mother said doctors told her her son was strong-willed.

"He wanted to live," Amador said. "That’s what he told me."

Amador said holidays such as Christmas were some of the hardest times to be away from her son.

"Being a mom — I was just crying at home," she said. "I want him home and Dr. McCaul said, 'Don't worry, he is going to make it home.'"

McCaul said nurses, therapists and intensive care unit staff became like an extended family for Moreno. "It's quite a thing to see," he said. "Without them, not possible."

Moreno’s mother said she was shocked and amazed to hear that he was being released this week and is grateful to everyone who helped her son get back to “100%” — despite the odds stacked against them.

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Matt Hoffman
Health Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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