Jose Jimenez is having a big week. Sunday was his 60th birthday and on Tuesday, he was finally discharged from Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix after spending nearly five months fighting and recovering from COVID-19.

Jimenez came to the Emergency Room on June 27 and has been hospitalized ever since, including being on a ventilator and on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for 87 days – one of the hospital’s longest ECMO stints without the patient needing a lung transplant.

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Jimenez spent the last few weeks at Select Specialty Hospital inside Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and was transferred to Banner Rehabilitation Hospital, where he will spend time further building his strength and gaining stability to walk again. Before he got sick, Jimenez was healthy, worked two jobs and weighed 200 pounds. During his long hospitalization, he lost about 60 pounds and is extremely weak.

Jimenez gives thanks to all of the medical professionals who cared for him, saying they “never gave up on me. I remember hearing them telling me I was going to make it and to keep fighting. I’m a miracle.”

“I’ve missed a lot, including my son’s wedding, but I’m looking forward to being home for the holidays and spending time with family” said Jimenez. “I’m going to be doing a lot of educating on the importance of getting the vaccine, too.”

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is a large teaching hospital that has provided medical care to Arizona and the Southwest since 1911. It is part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. The institution, which has trained thousands of doctors over decades as a teaching hospital, is the academic medical center for The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The hospital, recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best hospitals, specializes in heart care, cancer care, high-risk obstetrics, neurosciences, organ transplants, medical toxicology and emergency care, including a Level I trauma center. Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 30 hospitals in six states. For more information, visit