WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — A three-time cancer survivor from Westmoreland County beat coronavirus after a 75-day hospital stay that included time in a medically induced coma.
On Monday, 69-year-old Fred Szoch walked out of the hospital doors at UPMC St. Margaret and went home to Lower Burrell after his miraculous recovery.
Szoch is both amazed and grateful to be home with his brother, who also tested positive for coronavirus.
Szoch was very ill when he first arrived at St. Margaret nearly three months ago.
“By the time he got me to the emergency room, it took five people to carry me in. And then after that, my mind is a complete blank,” Szoch said.
He says he was placed in a medically induced coma as his body battled the virus.
“They called my brother about the 14th day and they said they don’t know if I’m going to make it,” Szoch said.
Fred’s brother, Ted, was also diagnosed at the same time but self-quarantined with only a dry cough.
“When I came out of the coma, I didn’t know where I was. I had a feeding tube up my nose,” Fred said.
Fred is a three-time cancer survivor who is devoted to his Catholic faith.
He feels prayers to the Blessed Mother are the reason he survived.
“To tell that story about Mary, and to be kind, helpful, even generous and positive to other people and to do as much as I can in this world,” Fred said.
And he also said he survived, again, to share even more about his faith and gratitude for life.
“If you go through this situation, it really opens your eyes and really shows you and how precious, how sweet, life is,” Fred said.
Fred’s journey at UPMC St. Margaret ended on Monday but his life journey still continues.
“And by the time I left there, I was doing the polka with one of the girls,” Fred said.