It's been a long and harrowing road for Noah Davis, who at 31 years old became one of the hardest-won success stories in the COVID unit at San Jose's Valley Medical Center this year.

Davis contracted COVID in January, he says from his mother, who became sick after taking a trip "down south" — perhaps visiting relatives over the holiday season. Both his parents, Sally and Merv Marty, became only mildly sick, but Davis would end up hospitalized with a severe case by February, with his oxygen levels plummeting.

ABC 7 reports on Davis's story as he exited the hospital this week for the first time in nine months.

"It's a real disease," Davis tells the station. "I thought it was a joke at first too, but it showed me how real it is."

Merv Mary says, "There were a lot of days of, really just being honest, I didn't think he was going to make it."

Underlying conditions were likely the culprit in Davis's case, though ABC 7 does not delve into his medical details. It appears Davis is a cancer survivor — a GoFundMe for a cancer battle for a 26-year-old Noah Davis in San Jose went up five years ago, in 2016, and that would be in line with Davis's age. But his is a story that we have not heard so often in this pandemic, of a near brush with death that included eight weeks in a coma, and then finally getting to come home.

"It's one of those things where we really need to give credit to the entire system from the moment he came into our acute-care hospital," says Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Associate Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Dr. Edward Chaw, speaking to ABC 7. "His journey to recovery has been one of those that hopefully we can mark in our history books."

Davis spent a lengthy amount of time intubated, and clearly his recovery will continue, having left the hospital in an electric wheelchair.

But he can now be counted among the ~582,000 Bay Area residents who have had and survived COVID-19 in the last 20 months.

As of Thursday, 6,653 people in the Bay Area have died from COVID-19, and over 750,000 have died nationwide.

Photo via Merv Marty