RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A former COVID-19 patient who spent two months in the hospital returned Monday to give thanks to the health care workers who saved his life.

Mark Lively tested positive in March 2021, just before vaccines became available for his age group.

He spent time on a ventilator and experienced a small stroke. He lost 54 pounds but was eventually released from the hospital in June. Lively is now feeling better and has since returned to work.

On Monday, he visited Saint Thomas Rutherford to present workers with the Guardian Angel Award.

“My right lung had a hole in it and collapsed. And I know it was challenging trying to find that hole and get me fixed and repaired on that thing. But you know, I heard the doctor tell my wife, he said, ‘listen, I believe I found that hole. I’m going to go in there and I’m gonna repair this and this man, we’ll never have a collapsed lung again. To me, that’s the kind of fight and determination you want to see as a patient going through something like I went through,” explained Lively.

Lively recently celebrated his 62nd birthday.

He said one of his doctors recently called him Lazarus in reference to the man from the Bible who was raised from the dead.