‘It almost killed me’: COVID-19 survivor has a warning for anyone letting their guard down

Home video shows Casey Gray, up and walking, which is something, at one point, he thought he would never do again.  

"It’s killed people. It almost killed me," Gray told FOX 13.  

Casey spent 70 days at Largo Medical Center fighting COVID-19. Fifty of those days he spent unconscious on a ventilator.  

He’s only 28 years old and now that he’s home, still with side effects, he has a message for people his age who say this is, "only the flu."  

"You will probably be okay, but you might not be, and you might get like me and be inches away from death," he said. "I don’t wish that on anybody."  

Before getting sick, he kept his distance and wore a mask, but like so many, he got relaxed and thought it could never happen to him.  

COVID UPDATES: Download the free FOX 13 News app for ongoing coronavirus coverage and live updates

"I got that way, I let my guard down," Gray said.  

As cases surge in the Tampa Bay area, during a time when people love to gather indoors, leaders double down on preventative measures.  

He’s sharing his story and pictures of him sedated in the hope to get more people to follow the guidelines. "Me and my wife got a Christmas tree… we put it up and I said I’m so grateful to be here for Christmas this year with you." 

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map