How Luis Roche fought his way through COVID-19
The Philly boxer and actor has a new perspective on life after his battle with the virus.
Luis Roche, aka ‘Hazel Roche,’ or the ‘Latin Lover,’ has been in the boxing business for many years.
But recently, instead of fighting an opponent in the ring, he had to tackle arguably his toughest and most deadly opponent: the novel coronavirus.
In an interview with AL DÍA, Roche spoke about how experience forever changed his outlook on the pandemic.
“This happened in mid-March, my stomach was hurting and I couldn’t eat anything,” he said.
At that point, Roche decided to go to the emergency room, where he got the news that he tested positive for the virus.
From Temple’s Episcopal Hospital, he was transferred North to its main campus for more care.
“At this point, I decided to tell my family that I tested positive for coronavirus,” said Roche.
He would spend two days in the ICU before recovering and in addition to him, both his mother and daughter subsequently tested positive.
Both would also end up spending time in the ICU.
“I was worried for my mother, she was 68 years old at that time and I needed her to be fine,” Roche said.
During his own experience in the ICU, Roche had a devastating conversation with his doctor: he only had a 20% chance of survival.
“They gave me oxygen because my lungs were shutting down, they also gave me medication that made me feel like I was being used as a guinea pig,” he said. “I lost more than 35 pounds in 14 days. I was losing hope.”
Roche’s symptoms progressively got worse. He started hallucinating, not eating, and eventually thought he was going to die.
“The doctors performed so many tests that I lost count, my case was very rare, anything under 30% chances of surviving is never good,” he said.
Amid the dire situation, Roche had no other choice but to think positive, and eventually, he was told by doctors that he would survive the lethal virus.
“I was overjoyed when I found out that I could go home. This virus definitely changed my life forever,” he said.
Roche now has a different outlook on life and is trying to open doors for Latinos in boxing now that he has a second chance at life.
In addition to being invited to fight in the Bahamas during the Spring, he will also compete in a tournament in April
“I am determined to be a good role model for Latinos, that’s what keeps me going,” Roche said.
Aside from boxing, Roche will also be in a movie called, Bad Business. The flick is still in production and Roche will be playing a character near and dear to his heart: a boxer.
It’s not the first time he’s been on the big screen. He has also been extra in movies, and on television shows such as The Killer Closer, on the Discovery ID Channel.
When thinking back again on advice for coping with COVID-19, Roche stressed communicating with friends and loved ones.
“If you’ve been tested with the virus, please make sure that you inform people that you live with, so they can get tested,” he said.
Roche also wants people to take this virus seriously, and not believe people when they say it is a “conspiracy theory.”
“Before you go out, think about your parents, grandparents, and everyone else who might have a hard time getting over the virus,” he said. “Stay home, cook, play games, wear a mask.”