One day in late June, Danny Davis felt like he had the flu. He had the chills, a mild fever and felt very tired. His doctor prescribed some antibiotics and he began to feel much better. However, a couple of nights later, he woke up and was having trouble breathing. It got progressively worse, so he went to the Emergency Center at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. Like most people who enter the ER, he was scared and unsure about what was going on. His lung capacity was deteriorating quickly, allowing him to only take small breaths. Doctors and nurses quickly hooked him up to oxygen and began evaluating him. After a little while, Davis received the news he was hoping he would not hear.
“The doctor came in and told me I had COVID-19. I was worried, because of my health history, that I wouldn’t make it,” Davis said. “But then he said something I’ll never forget – he said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to get you back home.’ That gave me great comfort.”
As a three-time cancer survivor, Davis is in the high-risk category to become very sick from COVID-19. He beat melanoma in 2000 and stage 4 cancer in his shoulder in 2019. He says it was his battle with stage 4 lung cancer in 2006 that caused serious problems with this virus.
“Other doctors told me when the virus gets in your lungs it kind of locks them up and causes a person to get sick very rapidly,” Davis said. “This is what happened to me.”
Davis spent a week in the ICU. He calls his care team “warriors” because, “they were not afraid of anything.” He believes that not only the doctor and nurses’ knowledge, but also their positive attitudes right from the start, gave him the confidence he needed to know that he was going to pull through.
“When patients come into the ER, we know they are scared and not sure what is going to happen to them. In many cases, it’s the worst day of their life,” said Shabana Walia, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Memorial Hermann and assistant professor of emergency medicine with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “I truly believe that a positive attitude from the doctors and nurses can affect a patient’s outcome for the better. This is why we always try to be as upbeat as possible with our patients to help them through a very difficult time.”
Davis says the staff at the Memorial City campus became his family since his real family was not allowed to visit because of COVID-19. He is extremely grateful for the compassionate care he received from his team and is extremely happy he is still around to tell everyone about it. He even recently went back to the hospital and surprised the staff with a banner he had made, which he displayed outside to show his appreciation.
“The work they are doing is saving lives,” Davis said. “The courage they showed in fighting this virus was truly something to see. I can’t thank them enough for pulling me through.”