By Paul Burton

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — Each small movement Desmon Silva makes reminds his family how far he’s come, but also how far he still must go. The 23-year-old was working as a nurse in Florida when he contracted COVID-19 back in July. He became paralyzed from the neck down due to a coronavirus-related infection.

“He remains hopeful. He definitely wants to prove everyone wrong. He stays super positive,” Desmon’s mom Barbara Bonnet told WBZ-TV on Monday.

Silva was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital and was in the ICU. For the past two months, he’s been rehabbing at Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge.

Desmon Silva (Courtesy Photo)

The family’s insurance provider plans to discharge him next month even though he’s still on a ventilator.

“He 100% relies on a ventilator. They are sending us home on a portable vent. We need time to modify the home that he’s going to be staying at,” said Bonnet. “We feel rushed at this point and we don’t want to feel rushed because this is my son’s life.”

Bonnet said her son is slowly beginning to speak, but it’s only for brief moments at a time. “We are seeing progress to his upper and lower extremities, the rehab team is amazing.”

Silva is talking about returning to work one day and potentially working in than ICU so he can give back from his experience.

Desmon Silva (Photo credit: Brooke Griffin)

While the family is excited to have Desmon back home, they are also deeply concerned about the unknown long-term effects COVID-19 will have on him.

They’ve set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses not covered by insurance.

“Des from day one wanted me to let everyone know that COVID is real and does not discriminate. And it’s still the unknown. He was a healthy 22-year-old who went to the gym every day. As long as I am breathing, he will always have a voice,” Bonnet said.

Paul Burton