Keith Miles survived his battle with COVID-19. (303576)
Keith Miles survived his battle with COVID-19. Credit: Cedars Sinai

Keith Miles was a Cedars-Sinai patient who battled and survived COVID-19. As reported in the July 30, 2020 edition of Our Weekly, he was diagnosed early in the pandemic, when treatments were scarce and experimental.

A computer scientist, Miles, 66, tenderly cared for his wife when she contracted a mild case of the virus in April, 2020. She recovered at home; he ended up on a ventilator in the ICU, fighting for his life.

He survived a heart attack and received an experimental heart treatment developed at the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute.

Dr. Eduardo Marban and a team of colleagues at Cedars-Sinai had an experimental therapeutic used for muscular dystrophy patients with heart failure. The therapeutic, known as CAP-1002, produced by Los Angeles-based biotech firm Capricor, contains cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) grown in the laboratory from human heart tissues.

Doctors had success in helping a handful of COVID-19 patients get off ventilators, as the treatment relates to serious inflammation and/or damage to the heart, lungs and other organs.

Miles was hospitalized for 15 days. Eight of those days were spent in the Cedars-Sinai Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After his discharge, he spent another two weeks in rehabilitation.

As a long-term COVID survivor, Miles still battles fatigue, difficulty breathing and brain fog, but he is back to work and able to pedal five continuous miles on his favorite bike path.

Survivors agree that COVID-19 has made a lasting impact on their lives, both physically and emotionally. Each of them feels grateful that they survived.

“After 30 minutes in the shower, my wife found me passed out, with a bar of soap in my hand,” said Miles, a South Los Angeles native. “To get dressed for the hospital ride, I got one leg into sweats, then dozed off. My wife had to help me, like I was a 6-year-old.”

“At my sickest point, I saw my deceased mom’s image. One time she looked concerned; the second time, she smiled. I also saw my deceased dad standing by the ventilator mouthing, ‘fight!’ I did.”

“Love for my COVID-infected wife got me into an ICU bed. Love for my son got me out of it. I got to see him deliver a speech at his high school graduation. I’m lucky I got to see these things.”