Anibal Ortiz survived 21 days in a Bronx hospital — and five of them on a ventilator — to beat COVID-19 and the odds.
But shortly after getting home, he faced an excruciating decision: allow doctors to amputate his left arm from the elbow or take a chance on losing more of the limb and possibly his life.
“I was in pain like you can’t believe,” Ortiz, 53, recalled. “I wanted to save as much of the arm as possible.”
Nearly a month earlier, Ortiz thought he just had a bad cough.
As the number of coronavirus cases began to grow in New York City, the veteran court officer kept working at his post screening people at the magnetometers before they entered the Harlem Community Justice Center.
The cough finally became too much and he went out sick in mid March.
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