"I feel like my quality of life is going to be better, just because I appreciate so much more," Chris Rogan said of his experience with COVID-19

By Ashley Boucher
August 04, 2020 10:15 PM
Advertisement
Chris Rogan
YouTube

Weeks of intubation, an amputated leg and more than 130 days in the hospital haven't dampened New Yorker Chris Rogan's spirit — in fact, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) survivor says he has a new appreciation for life.

Rogan, 29, was released from Bellevue Hospital in New York City on Tuesday morning after spending months in the hospital, ABC 7 News reported.

While much has changed since Rogan was first diagnosed in March, he exhibited a positive outlook as he returned home after having the illness for 132 days.

"When I went down, it was only 150,000 cases. When I woke up, they told me 2.5 million. I was like, 'what? Are you serious?'" Rogan, 29, told ABC 7 News.

As of Tuesday, there have been more than 4.7 million positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and more than 157,000 deaths related to the virus, according to data from the New York Times. 

Chris Rogan being discharged from hospital
YouTube

During his hospitalization, Rogan was intubated twice and spent a total of 71 days with a tube in his throat. He also coded once, had to get a tracheotomy, and had to have his leg amputated as a result of blood clots, ABC 7 reported.

"Actually, when I first woke up, I had no clue about [the amputation]," Rogan told ABC 7. "Until the surgical team was like, 'does it still feel like there's a leg there?' and I was like, 'what? What do you mean, is there still a leg there?' So I knew it was serious."

Rogan's wife Crystal pointed out the similarity to the story of Broadway Nick Cordero — who also had to get a leg amputated as a result of complications from COVID-19 but sadly died earlier this month after battling the virus for more than 90 days.

Crystal said that before the actor died, she found hope following his progress while her own husband was in the hospital.

"I could feel what his wife was going through," Crystal told ABC 7. "Their cases were so similar. I would check the news every day to see how Nick Cordero was doing, because it gave me hope that if he was doing better, that Chris would do better too."

Rogan was wheeled out of the hospital to rounds of applause from staff, who showered him with flowers and balloons in celebration of his remarkable recovery, footage shared by Bellevue Hospital on Facebook Tuesday showed.

"It's not the end of the world," Rogan said of his experience with COVID-19. "And it doesn't define me."

"I feel like my quality of life is going to be better, just because I appreciate so much more," he added.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.