STUART, Fla. — A Treasure Coast man is now recovering at a rehabilitation hospital in Stuart after battling a severe case of COVID-19 for nearly two months.
"If I knew it was going to be that bad, I probably would have gotten the vaccine," said Joe Lowry, 47, who said he first tested positive for the virus at the end of June, just days before a planned family vacation to Mexico.
After he said he felt better rather quickly, he and his family decided to go.
"I think it was night three, he kind of just took a turn for the worst," said Erin Lowry, Joe's wife.
Joe Lowry had to be taken to two different hospitals in Cancun, where he would spend the night.
"It was pretty scary being out of the country not knowing, you know, if your loved one was going to make it or not," said Erin Lowry.
The next day he was flown on an emergency medical flight back to Florida while intubated.
"If I knew it was going to be that bad, I probably would have gotten the vaccine," said Joe Lowry.
Joe Lowry spent the majority of the month of August inside the intensive care unit at Broward Medical Center on a ventilator.
He said he has no underlying medical conditions.
"I don't remember a whole lot," said Joe Lowry. "I do know that it's horrible whatever it is."
Erin Lowry said nurses at times told her that her husband was in grave condition and that his chances of survival were as low as 10%.
"I don't know if you know anyone that works at a hospital, but they can tell you very few people walk out of there after being a ventilator fighting COVID," said Joe Lowry.
Now at Encompass Health in Stuart, Joe Lowry is scheduled to go home for the first time in two months next week.
"I don't think it ever really crossed our mind that he would be the type of person to give up and not fight through it, because anybody who knows my husband, they know he's a fighter," said Erin Lowry.