Almost three weeks ago, HGTV star Eric Eremita almost lost his life due to the coronavirus. The contractor who appeared on Jonathan and Drew Scott’s Brother vs. Brother as well as Love It Or List It spent two weeks on a ventilator at Staten Island University Hospital in New York after contracting the pandemic virus. Eremita, 51, is warning people to continue to take social distancing seriously, noting to PEOPLE that he had no preexisting condition that would have made him more susceptible to the coronavirus.
After experiencing a high fever, the celebrity contractor said he knew something was wrong when he began to feel dizzy and lost his ability to focus. "When I couldn't zero in on things, I knew something was wrong," he told the outlet. His wife Joanne, 44, began to feel sick days later, and the two went into self-quarantine on separate floors of their home while their three kids remained in the basement.
Calling the coronavirus hotline in order to get a testing appointment had the couple waiting days for a call back, all while things were getting "worse and worse." One day, he started having trouble breathing, and his wife called an ambulance. "I got to the hospital and, believe it or not, it’s kind of a blur from that moment until I woke up off the ventilator," Eremita said. He was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe, where he remained for two weeks, much to doctors' concern.
"They told my wife, ‘If it doesn't come out tomorrow, we're going to have to figure out something else,’" he said. "Then she got really nervous." Fortunately, that next day, he became well enough to be taken off the ventilator, which he says was the hand of God responding to his family and friends' prayers.
He was then moved to the ICU, where he was able to recover to the point of being discharged. "They're calling me their miracle," Eremita said of the nurses and doctors working in his unit. "No one else in the hospital that I was in that was on a ventilator walked out alive. I'll be honest with you, it made me very, very humbled, and reminded me to appreciate life."
The HGTV personality is now undergoing physical therapy to help him walk again and taking antibiotics to manage a case of pneumonia he developed after the coronavirus. Still unsure where he caught the virus, Eremita is urging people to continue to practice social distancing and other recommended safety practices. "If you think you can't get it, you're mistaken. You're really, really mistaken if you think that you're Superman or Superwoman and you cannot get this virus," Eremita, said. "It's serious and it's deadly. Wear your mask, wear your gloves."