By Tiffany Chan

WEYMOUTH (CBS) — Boston Police Captain John Greland thought he was going to die when he was rushed to South Shore Hospital earlier this month. He was struggling to breathe after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

“I’m afraid to look back at my wife and kids because I don’t think I’m coming back. That’s how I felt,” Greland said. “I thought I was going to die.”

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Greland caught the coronavirus on the job at the end of March and later developed pneumonia in both lungs. After 35 years on the force, he didn’t think the coronavirus would be the thing to land him in the hospital.

The captain was hooked up to a ventilator for more than a week, and was barely about to get out of bed. He credits hospital workers for saving his life. The only thing is — he only knows their first names.

“Deb, Kathy, Lisa – all of them,” he said. “All I ever saw were the healthcare workers were their eyes. That’s all I ever saw because they were wearing masks and face shields.”

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John Greland (WBZ-TV)

After eight days at South Shore Hospital, Captain Greland said he has a new appreciation for the nurses and doctors who kept him alive. Despite not knowing what they look like, he wants to say “thank you,” from one essential worker to another.

“I grabbed one of them by the hand and said ‘Look, you people come in here every day and risk your life every time you come into this room. You people are fighting the good fight,’” he said.

Captain Greland is on the mend now, and he said his wife and daughter are coronavirus-free. He is set to retire in August and said that being out of work for so long was not the way he wanted to go out, but that he’s just thankful to be alive.

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Tiffany Chan