SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two South Florida nurses are sending a major message to those who are still unvaccinated. One of them not only cared for patients with COVID-19, but he also contracted the virus himself.

They’re known as the COVID Kings.

“We have been working together in the COVID unit, and we have been a real dynamic duo,” said nurse Wilson Olivo.

Rublas Ruiz and Olivo are nurses. They are good friends, and they both volunteered to take care of COVID-19 patients at Kendall Regional Medical Center.

They have been bravely treating coronavirus patients from the beginning of this pandemic.

In July, Ruiz got sick. Really sick.

He even used a vaporizing machine at home to help him breathe. It wasn’t, so he checked himself into his own hospital.

He had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I was scared because I’ve seen, I’ve been dealing with these patients for a year and a half,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz was not vaccinated.

His friends, his coworkers, now had to do everything possible to save his life.

“I think it’s life-changing, and it really impacts our staff into understanding and promoting vaccination, which is probably the most important thing at this moment,” said critical care director Marlon Margarejo.

The veteran nurse believes he would not be alive if he hadn’t gone to the hospital.

“I felt that I was kind of immunized with the amount of viral load that I was being exposed with these patients since the beginning,” Ruiz said. “And I felt like I was strong, like I was not gonna get it.”

Wilson wasn’t vaccinated either, but when he had to watch his own friend suffer, that was what changed his mind, and he and his family got the vaccine.

“It’s not easy because it’s your friend,” he said.

Their message is for those people who have not been vaccinated not to wait until it’s too late.

“I finally decided that the vaccination is the way out of it,” Ruiz said.

“My message to everybody is to get vaccinated,” Olivo said. “This is the only thing that we have just to stop this pandemic.”

The critical care director said the majority of the people being admitted to Kendall Regional Medical Center with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox