BUFFALO, Minn. — For 46-year-old Mike Curry – a father of eight – the last 15 days have been met with triumphs and setbacks, according to his sister Melissa Zuniga.
"His situation has just been so up and down, he's fine one minute and then just 'Bam' he can't breathe," said Zuniga.
Curry, a social studies teacher and basketball coach at Buffalo High School, has been struggling with COVID-19.
"He does have the COVID pneumonia and it seems like it's really affecting younger people in their 30s and 40s that have no underlying conditions," said Zuniga.
Curry's case is just one of the latest in an uptick of cases across the state placing a strain on doctors and nurses as hospital beds in some areas are at or near capacity.
His illness also comes as some school districts are dealing with a surge of new cases.
"He waited in the ER for 30 hours because there were no beds," said Zuniga.
Curry, who wasn't vaccinated, says he was healthy, and felt he was in a pretty low risk group, never imagining COVID would leave him fighting for his life.
"He's not on a ventilator, thank God, he's not to that level yet. But he still cannot breathe without the oxygen," said Zuniga.
In a statement, from Curry he says:
“I thank everyone for their continued support and prayers. I didn’t get vaccinated. I am a healthy 46 year old with no other issues. I did not think COVID would cause this. I felt like I was in a pretty low risk group. People will have their thoughts about me. I just want to get better and move on with life.”
"We're just happy that everybody's praying for us," said Zuniga.
Praying this coach gets another shot at life.
"If somebody doesn't choose to get the vaccine, I think that they should stay inside and be very cautious and even consider going back to wearing a mask," said Zuniga.
Mike is still in a Buffalo hospital as of Saturday night.
His sister started a Go Fund Me page to help support his wife who is on leave from her job right now to be by his side and their 8 kids.
There are currently 13 staff members and 42 students out with COVID-19 in the Buffalo Hanover Montrose School District, according to the latest data from the district's COVID dashboard.