Chris McMillan is in his 40s and says he's in pretty good shape.

"The last couple of years, I've been running and things like that. I run a couple 10Ks, a couple 5Ks," said McMillan.

Those feats of strength and endurance couldn't hold a candle to the novel coronavirus. On March 22, he was admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg.

"I walked in and they walked me to the triage and I said, 'hey, my name is Chris McMillan. I called ahead. I think I have COVID' and they were like, 'yes, we got you right here.' They took down my info and threw me in a room," said McMillan.

From there, it was a challenge to treat his most notable symptom, and that of most other cases, labored breathing.

"At that point, I was like, 'I don't care, I just want to survive.' Do what you got to do. And when they were like, 'we're going to put you on a ventilator' I was like, 'bring it on. let's go,'" said McMillan.

That lasted several days. Doctors also put McMillan into an induced coma and intentionally paralyzed him so they could flip his body over.

"Flipping you over, it kind of just changes things and moves some of that fluid around so your body can dissipate some of it," said Jen Sanita, McMillan's girlfriend.

McMillan slowly got better. His ventilator was no longer needed.

"It's insanity. I feel so lucky to be alive and very thankful to be alive," said McMillan.

After some physical therapy, he regained enough strength to be discharged. He was the hospital's first of its intubated COVID-19 patients to do so.

WFMZ's Holly Harrar asked McMillan, "Do you think you'll ever take breathing for granted ever again?"

McMillan replied, "Oh no. Never again."

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