CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — More than a hundred people came together Friday to honor a police officer who nearly died from COVID-19.
It was a moment of victory after a long battle, as officer Dave Tenorio stepped up from his wheelchair and onto his own two feet as he finally left the hospital.
"Dave is a fighter and he didn't give up and I'm proud of him for that," Tenorio's friend Mark Beck said.
The City of St. Louis police officer nearly lost his weeks long fight. He was admitted to St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield all the way back on April 1.
To save him, health care workers at St. Luke's went from using a ventilator to an ECMO. The machine keeps the patient alive by using an artificial heart and lungs.
Doctors said when somebody gets to the point where they can no longer be assisted with a ventilator, an ECMO is brought in.
Doctors said that with Tenorio being a first responder, the medical community at St. Luke's identified with him, as they are on the front lines themselves.
"I just want to thank you all the nurses the doctors the staff," Tenorio said. "There's no way I could be put on the path to rehab without the good help of the doctors."