OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- Hope is what many people are looking for during this hard time, especially when faced with a coronavirus diagnosis.

On Thursday, KCTV5’s Abby Dodge spoke with a patient who recently left the hospital and has an encouraging message for us all.

In March, Sanford “Sandy” Hipsh walked into the St. Luke’s South emergency room. As he laid in his hospital bed for weeks, he wondered if he’d ever get the chance to walk out.

“I feel like I was watched by a team of angels from the minute I got to the hospital,” Sandy said. “Somebody picked up on something and they knew I was going to be strong, and I was. I was as strong as I could be.”

With underlying conditions and age not on his side, Sandy didn’t let his hospital stay take anything from him.

“I am 69 and a half,” he noted. “You have to fight. You have to be ready to use your strength to get stronger or you’re never going to leave.”

One of Sandy’s many doctors said his outlook wasn’t the best.

“He was talking, but he was slowly and surely deteriorating,” said Pulmonary Critical Care Physician Dr. Shais Jallu.

“You’ve got to be ready to fight this thing,” Sandy said. “It is a snake and people need to understand if you give it an inch, it’s going to take a mile from you.”

There were moments Sandy felt he wasn’t going to see his wife of 46 years again, but he battled for love.

“She’s my rock and she’s my inspiration,” he said.

Until they were reunited, the pair held onto a photo through restless nights and day after day on a ventilator.

“My heart was lightened so much when I was able to see her for the first time because I knew it was really true,” he said, “that I was gone and, two, that I was back to her.”

Even though she couldn’t be by his side, Sandy’s wife kept a detailed journal of his stay that started the day she dropped him off.

His doctors said that the moment he left the hospital, their dedication paid off.

“In Sandy’s case, it gives me double pleasure because he had this dreaded disease, which in his case he had all the risk factors for poor outcomes,” said Dr. Jallu. “It gives me immense happiness that we at St. Luke’s took good care of him.”

Sandy said, “'You are one of my angels.' That’s what I would tell everybody and I truly mean it.”

Sandy said the people working in the hospital deserve more than anything he could give them.

“I owe my life, and I know that,” he said. “I owe my life to that hospital. They are part of me now and they are going to be forever.”

Sandy said he’s committed to getting even stronger. In fact, he was up at 7 this morning doing exercises to keep him from having to come back to the hospital anytime soon.

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