DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - After a three-month battle with COVID-19, a South Florida nurse is heading home.

On Friday, Carlos Olano, an associate nurse manager at Jackson Memorial Hospital left the hospital for the first time since July.

He received a warm send-off from the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center staff and was able to finally hug his wife.

“It’s like something else came back into me, that I could see her next to me again,” Olano said.

He was rushed to the hospital on July 9, after he said he couldn’t breathe.

Olano received a positive COVID test, and so began a fast downward spiral for the 64-year-old unvaccinated nurse.

He quickly went from the emergency room to the ICU and spent 26 days on a ventilator.

“I had to learn literally how to walk,” Olano said. “Now I’m walking with a walker.”

Occupational therapist Jennifer Gomez said Olano’s steep road to recovery is not uncommon for the most severe COVID patients.

“He could start to learn all those things, just to sit up and put your clothes on and brush your teeth and then walk to the bathroom,” said Gomez. “It was very difficult at first, but he’s made tremendous progress.”

Although Olano waited to get the COVID-19 vaccine, he’s now urging others not to follow his lead.

“Please do it, don’t wait,” he said.

Olano said he is one of the lucky ones and hopes his story encourages more people to get the vaccine.

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