Twenty-two days after he was hospitalized with a high fever and low oxygen levels, Octavio Robles, a Union City police officer, walked out of Holy Name Medical Center on his own Tuesday to the cheers of the hospital staff and his fellow police officers.
“When Octavio went into the hospital, honestly we weren’t hopeful initially,” said Union City Police Chief Nikki Luster. “I can’t tell you how relieved and grateful everybody is today. From the bottom or our hearts, thank you.”
The 41-year-old father of three spent more than two weeks on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.
He believes that he became infected with the coronavirus while trying to save his mother’s life. He was there when she stopped breathing, after complaining of feeling sick, and performed CPR on her.
Robles said he knew “deep down” that she had COVID-19. So he asked his sister to pick up his three children, ages 6, 12, and 13, immediately, so that he would not infect them. When he called his doctor to tell him what had happened, the doctor advised him to monitor his temperature and oxygen levels.
Three days later, Robles’ temperature spiked.
He went to the Teaneck hospital’s emergency department, was admitted, and was placed on a ventilator the next day.
His mother did not survive.
Robles, asked to explain why he risked his life to try to save hers, said, “Wouldn’t you face the devil for your mother?”