Montgomery Co. COVID-19 patient who attended rodeo cook-off out of hospital

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Montgomery County's first coronavirus case, who was initially identified only as a Patton Village police officer, has been released from the hospital.

Chris Hernandez was released from St. Luke's Health - The Woodlands Hospital on Wednesday after more than a month.

He was admitted to the hospital on March 8 with severe flu-like symptoms.

Hernandez's case was linked to a presumptive case reported by Galveston County.

City of Houston and Harris County officials cited Hernandez's case as the primary reason that RodeoHouston closed for the remainder of its season.

READ MORE: The case that caused RodeoHouston to cancel

"I can't express how grateful I am for every single one of you," said Hernandez to his hospital staff. "You guys saved my life. I know God had everybody in the right place and I came to the right facility and he empowered you guys to make all the right choices."

Hospital officials said Hernandez was put on a ventilator due to his condition and was treated with a therapy known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

ECMO works by helping oxygenate blood outside the body so blood doesn't need to transfer through damaged or filled lungs. This was the first COVID-19 case in Texas treated with ECMO.
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