ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The family of a City of Rochester employee is rejoicing after a local man fought off a severe case of COVID-19 that had him in a hospital bed and on a ventilator for almost a month.

Jeffrey Reese had a severe case of COVID-19 that nearly took his life.

“There’s almost no words. it was definitely the hardest thing we’ve every done,” said Amy Reese, Jeffrey’s wife.

Jeffrey, a 46 year father of four, describes himself as healthy with no serious health conditions. That all changed in late March when he was working at the Carter Street Rec Center, helping with a city food distribution program.

“The next day I started getting symptoms, the following Saturday I passed out,” Jeffrey said.

After going to the hospital Jeffrey tested positive for COVID-19, but said he had mild symptoms, and was discharged to quarantine at home.

A few days later, Jeffrey found himself back in the hospital where he would spend the next 25 days fighting the virus, unconscious, and relying on a ventilator to breath.

“Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong,” Jeffrey said. “I was in the most critical ICU stages, I had lung collapse, once I started recovering I had a heart stoppage,” said Reese. “I had no recollection of anything, so when I woke up people were looking at me like ‘oh man you’re a miracle you were like the sickest person we had.'”

Jefferey says he was able to take part in a clinical trial for Remdesivir, a drug being test for treating COVID-19. From there he says the recovery was quick, and he was able to leave the hospital after a 25-day stay to his family and a community welcome.

The whole family says the journey was eye-opening.

“And it’s so, so, so important that we can do whatever we can,” said Morgan Reese, Jeffrey’s daughter. “Especially kids my age, because I never thought it was going to happen to our family ever.”

“People disservice this disease you watch the news and there’s a lot of doom and gloom and terrible, Jeff’s story has to be told because you can over come this, families can overcome this,” said Amy Reese.

The family sent the following note as a thank you to the hardworking team at URMC: