BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Thousands of people have recovered from the coronavirus locally and for some patients, the climb back to normalcy can be a struggle.
For one local educator who was one of the first local people hospitalized with COVID-19, he described his experience as moments of frustration, terror and exhaustion.
For Chris Sanchez, a self-described active middle-aged professional with no previous health conditions, it was the fight of his life.
He remembers when his symptoms began, the same day the governor shut down California.
On March 29, Sanchez became one of the first 20 local patients to be hospitalized with the coronavirus. After five days Chris says they started to get him off the machine to breathe on his own.
A couple of days later, he was back home isolating in a small room next to the pool.
Chris has gained back some of his pre-COVID weight but says he's dealing with some scar tissue in his left lung and an elevated heart rate.
Doctors say the virus is no longer in his body and he's back working as an Assistant Principal in the Kern High School District.
It's an experience he hopes not many more people will have to go through.