A UPS employee had quite the birthday celebration this week -- but he almost didn't live to see it.
William Torres battled Covid-19 in a Texas hospital for 64 days, partially in the ICU, before he was released. This week, his friends and co-workers at UPS celebrated his birthday with a parade, CNN affiliate KOSA reported.
With friends by his side, Torres watched a procession of vehicles -- UPS trucks, motorcycles and adorned cars -- line up to wish him a happy birthday.
"It was great," Torres told KOSA. "Cause in the hospital I got to have one guest and my wife would go every day. But seeing a bunch of people is a totally different thing."
UPS employees who organized the parade said Torres is one of a kind.
"He's one that will light up a room when he walks in with just a smile," UPS driver Lori Ripplinger told KOSA.
The birthday parade is the first time many of his friends and co-workers have seen Torres since December -- and the reunion was deeply welcomed.
"With every one that showed up, it's gladly appreciated," Simon Sanchez, another UPS employee, told KOSA. "I know it made his day, cause it was unexpected from where he was a couple months ago to where he is now."
Torres wants people to take the virus seriously
UPS employees told KOSA they were worried about Torres after finding out how severely the virus affected him.
Even Torres said he believed, for a while, that the virus might kill him.
"It was like you can't breathe," he said. "Like, let me cover your mouth with my hand and leave you just a little opening for you to breathe."
After 64 days in the hospital, Torres was released -- but his recovery is not over. He said he hopes other people take the virus seriously, lest they develop a severe case like him.
"A lot of people catch it and they get a mild version of it," he said. "But if you get the severe version like I did, it's going to try to kill you. I say wear your mask. It's (not) worth dying for, y'know?"
This article originally appeared on CNN