DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — On a street in Dauphin County, two neighbors embrace in a hug after one of these men helped save the others life.
UPMC Dr. Hassan Amhaz was among the team of doctors and nurses who cared for 32-year-old Kyle Schriner during his 28 day stay in the ICU for COVID-19.
He spoke to FOX43 about the moment he realized Schriner had become a patient.
"I just kind of glanced in and I saw Kyle. And, I just stopped. I just walked back and I looked in and I was like 'oh my God.' And I looked and you know it was just really scary," he said.
Schriner was put on a ventilator for two weeks at UPMC Harrisburg Hospital and he was given last rites three times.
"When I got the positive test, I felt like everybody. I was going to get two weeks off. Everybody I knew had it, didn't get sick at all," Schriner said.
Watch Part 1 of Schriner's full story below and read more about his journey here.
Schriner had just become eligible for the vaccine when he began to feel ill in April. He admits, he wasn't sure about getting the shot as he is scared of needles and he questioned what was in the vaccine and how fast it rolled out.
His wife Brianna, a hospice nurse who was fully vaccinated, urged Schriner to go to the doctor to get tested for COVID-19. She then urged him to go to the hospital by ambulance as his breathing worsened.
The fact that Schriner is still alive today not only amazes him, but also his wife and Dr. Amhaz.
"If I was laying in that bed or if it was my wife or my family member, you know, would I let off the gas? You know in terms of keep pushing and doing things and stuff?" said Dr. Amhaz. "This is exactly a reminder of why you don't."
Schriner was able to leave the hospital after the month-long stay and finally hug his now 1 and 5-year-old daughters. The Schriner family spoke glowingly of the care they received from UPMC doctors and nurses as Kyle fought for his life. They emphasized that they wanted to say thank you to each and everyone involved.
For Dr. Amhaz the experience has only strengthened the bond he has with his neighbor, Kyle. When FOX43 asked Dr. Amhaz how he dealt with the emotions of seeing his own neighbor in the COVID-19 intensive care unit, he remarked on the care he gives all of his patients.
"I'm only a few years older than he is," said Dr. Amhaz as he pointed to 32-year-old Schriner, "and I have a 7-year-old daughter. And, the thought of not being able to come home to my kids just.... so you know you're constantly in a state of mental, physical, emotional exhaustion of just working 100 plus hours a week. You know, dealing with all this stress and death and you know it's okay to be reminded of that... you have those emotions and that's what keeps pushing you through."
Dr. Amhaz urged everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
With double vision and a tube still in his neck, Kyle Schriner used his stomach to write messages until doctors were finally able to pull the ventilator out. Schriner continues to receive care for long-term complications of COVID-19 with the help of doctors from UPMC, who also have a post COVID clinic.
Part of that recovery, Schriner said, was learning to walk again after his hospital stay that lasted from April to May of this year. He also continues to have decreased lung capacity.
"Everyday I wake up I don't know who I'm going to be," he said. "Am I going to wake up and be able to pick up my daughters? Am I going to be able to walk to the kitchen to get something to drink?"
Kyle Schriner has now started a Facebook group to form support for other survivors of COVID-19. He is hoping by sharing his story, that more people will reach out to him, so others who are continuing to recover from long-term complications can find support. He has entitled the page 'Survivors Of Covid-19: Day By Day."
Schriner is now fully vaccinated. For those who haven't been vaccinated, he said he still believes the shot is a choice. But he noted by not getting the two pricks in his arm, he paid the price.
"You're gambling with your life," he said as FOX43 asked him what his message was for people who were not vaccinated.
"This isn't an agenda. This is peoples lives. I mourn the person I was before. I just took everything for granted. Just everybody real quick do me a favor. Everybody just breathe in real quick. Breathe out. That's a gift. You are not owed nothing."