ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- When Eric Heumann was wheeled out of Northwest Community Hospital as a COVID-19 survivor, it was after the most brutal battle of his life.
"I'm not transmitting any COVID," he said.
The 49-year-old Arlington Heights man spent 34 days in the hospital battling the virus and pneumonia in both lungs.
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"I wouldn't want to see anybody go through this. Ever," he said. "this is the biggest nightmare that you could ever possibly imagine."
He was placed in a medically induced coma and put on a ventilator for 17 days. He went into cardiac arrest, stopping his heart for seconds before doctors revived him.
"I kept pushing myself beyond limits," he said. "It is a walking miracle. Somehow. I mean, God had a plan."
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The game-changer was a plasma donation from another COVID-19 survivor.
"I think that that's what really saved my life," Heumann said.
And with his discharge, he was finally allowed to hug his family again.
"It was like the greatest thing ever," he said of finally embracing his youngest daughter Kylie. "I've been waiting for that hug for 60 days and I finally got it, so I mean, that was important."
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That hug would not have been possible without that plasma donation or the dedication of his healthcare team.
"Nurses and doctors, they do more than you could possibly imagine," he said. "What they did to keep me alive was incredible."
Heumann called Northwest Community Hospital "amazing" and said he feels lucky to be alive. He also said he hopes his story will inspire others who have survived to donate their plasma, and for those still battling the virus to keep fighting.
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