A Colorado man recently returned to the hospital where he spent 20 days battling COVID-19 in order to thank the doctors and nurses who saved his life.
On Wednesday, Jacob Larson went back to UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont to sing for the staff while they ate lunch at their annual summer barbecue, according to CBS affiliate KCNC.
In attendance for his surprise performance was physician and hospitalist Dr. Aiman Rauf, who treated Larson after he contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, the outlet reported.
Larson was intubated for 13 of the 20 days he spent in the hospital’s ICU, leaving Rauf with concerns that he would not be able to continue working as a wedding and event singer.
“I was worried that he would never be able to sing again,” Rauf told KCNC.
RELATED VIDEO: FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine
But those fears were put behind her this week when Larson showed up and began singing at the barbecue.
“It’s a surreal experience to be able to come and perform for the people who saved my life,” Larson told KCNC of the full-circle moment.
According to the outlet, UCHealth holds a barbecue lunch for its staff each summer, but this was the first time that a former patient performed.
When Rauf showed up to the outdoor performance and saw Larson, she couldn’t help but hug him and say, “I admitted you to this hospital. It is so good to see you! You know you were our first COVID patient, right?”
In addition to thanking the medical professionals, Larson used the opportunity to encourage others to get the COVID-19 vaccine, just as he did in the time since his hospitalization, KCNC reported.
“I’m absolutely encouraging people to get their vaccine,” Larson told the outlet. “Let’s get through this. This is the answer. It is time to move past and do this together.”
Rauf noted that every COVID-19 patient currently in their hospital did not get vaccinated.
“The biggest ‘thank you’ anyone can give their health care provider is to go get their COVID vaccine,” the doctor explained to KCNC. “I’m grateful that he made it to this point because a lot of our patients have not.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.