ROBBINS, Ill. (WLS) -- A veteran Robbins police officer returned to work Thursday after a tough fight against COVID-19.
It's been more than two months since Officer Edward Schmit last patrolled the streets of the south suburb, sidelined by a near deadly bout of coronavirus.
Welcomed back to full-time duty by the mayor and his colleagues Thursday, the 48-year-old officer recounted the illness that began mid-March.
He was initially misdiagnosed with bronchitis and then pneumonia.
When he was taken to Palos Hospital weeks later, he and his fiancee knew it wasn't good.
On a ventilator for 7 days, doctors told Schmit's family he had a less than 20% chance of surviving. When he did, one doctor asked if anything unusual happened while he was under.
"I seen my best friend that passed a couple of years ago," Schmit said. "He had his blue shirt on, his cigarettes and his cell phone. I was looking out to him, reaching out to him. I honestly believed I was going at that time and he said to me, 'Not today Eddie, not today.'"
Officer Schmit said he was treated with both hydrocloroquine and remdesivir, and credits both drugs with shortening the course of his illness.
Coronavirus Illinois: Robbins police officer returns to duty after being on ventilator in COVID-19 battle