DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A COVID-19 survivor who spent nearly 100 days in a Winston-Salem hospital is ready to celebrate Christmas with his wife free of breathing machines and doctor’s care.

“I fought hard every day. It was a struggle, but I was determined to get out of that hospital,” John Taylor said.

FOX8 cameras were there when John was rolled out of Novant Health Rehabilitation hospital on March 3.

He spent nearly 20 days on a ventilator, had seven surgeries and now has flashbacks to his darkest days.

COVID-19 ravaged John’s body and left the 47-year-old physically and emotionally scarred.

“96 days in the hospital. You see a lot of stuff, and you hear so many bad stories from nurses who have been there so long. It was terrifying to be in there,” John said.

Nearly a year later, he struggles to describe the trauma he went through.

“Knowing everyone around you is passing away, and you’re waiting on your turn,” he said.

His COVID-19 battle is a blur.

His wife April vividly remembers the pain and fear she felt on Nov. 30 when John had trouble breathing.

A doctor admitted him to the hospital.

“Last year around this time…I thought I was going to be a widow. The doctors were saying the odds were against him He’s not going to make it,” April said.

Now more than a year later, he’s grateful for a moment no one thought would happen.

John says the moment would not be possible without a strong team supporting and caring for him.

“It’s an amazing feeling when I think about all the people, the nurses that supported me, friends, family, church members. It’s a humbling experience,” John said.

It’s a miracle his wife says has changed her view on Christmas.

“I wasn’t a big fan of Christmas because I thought it was commercialized. Everyone is so stressed out,” April said. “This Christmas, my whole entire opinion has changed. I now have so much appreciation of the miracles of Christmas time.”

The couple plans to have a low-key Christmas focused on their love of each other and the gift of life.

John told FOX8 his breathing is getting back to normal, but he needs an oxygen machine to assist him when he sleeps.

One thing that’s gotten him through the tough days is a therapist and a private Facebook group called C19 Widows and Widowers.

It’s for people who have lost loved ones to the virus

John said he needs some more recovery time before he rolls up his sleeve and gets vaccinated.