Buffalo high school basketball coach describes his experience in the ICU after contracting coronavirus


BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – A basketball coach at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute is among those that have tested positive for COVID-19 in Erie County. Despite not having any pre-existing conditions, he still found himself being admitted into the ICU at Sister’s Hospital.

“Definitely freaked out,” Gabe Michael said. “You know it’s just you’re in there with your own thoughts the whole time and you do have some moments where you’re like on no this is going poorly but at the same time the best thing you can do is to stay positive.”

Michael said he first started showing symptoms two weeks ago. He had a fever for about five days that was not breaking, and he also had a cough that kept getting worse.

“So I was home and started coughing up blood,” he said. “Which was scary obviously and I called my doctor and he said you know let’s get you in.”

About 30 minutes later he was at Sister’s Hospital, and immediately was put into the intensive care unit. Michael spent 4 days at Sister’s and then was transferred to Saint Joseph’s making him one of the first patients at Catholic Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Center.

“Very different experience than anything I’ve ever dealt with,” He said. “The people coming in they’re wearing like space suits basically. They have masks on and they’re obviously putting themselves at risk, which is amazing that they’re doing that.”

Michael didn’t know he had the illness until his second day in the hospital, and says he’s not sure where he could have contracted it.

“I thought about that a lot and I don’t know anyone who has it,” Michael said. “I don’t know anyone else who’s sick.”

Michael was released from the hospital on Sunday and says he is doing much better.

“Very refreshing for me,” he said. “Getting into the house eating normal food and everything so the last couple of days I’ve slowly been getting my energy back but still a long way to go I feel like.”

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