He was bitten by a cat, got the plague and was near death, but two months later, Paul Gaylord, 59, is finally back at his Crook County home.
In June, Gaylord started to feel ill after he was taking a dead mouse from the mouth of a cat and was bitten.
As the disease worsened, he was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with the systemic plague and rushed to St. Charles Medical Center Bend.
"They told me, 'I think you've got the plague and I think it's systemic,'" Gaylord recalled. "They put me in the ambulance, and that's about the last I remember."
In the beginning, doctors didn't think he was going to survive. They told family members if he did, he would be in the hospital until November.
But three months early, Gaylord has shocked doctors with his miraculous recovery.
"I feel pretty good," Gaylord told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday. "I'm going to go on and do the best I can. I'll figure it out."
After leaving the hospital, he got to make several stops, including one to see his co-workers at Fab-Tech.
"It was nice -- like I said, it was definitely a joyful reunion," said Andrea Gibb, Gaylord's niece. "Everybody was really excited to see him, and him to see them."
Gaylord has a long road ahead of him. Within the next few weeks, he'll have his blackened toes and fingers amputated, a side effect of the disease.
But he's remained strong, ecstatic just to be alive.
"I still have to go through the amputations," said Gaylord. "But I think they will be no problem -- I can handle it."
"He is very very happy that he made it through it," said Gibb. "He is very strong willed. Like I said, he surprised everybody, not just family and friends, but the medical staff as well."
As the recovery process continues. and Gaylord returns to as normal of a life as possible, he is thankful for those who saved his life.
"I had a whole team of good doctors that saved my life, and nurses," said Gaylord. "I would like to thank them."
Gaylord and his family are now working to remodel his home to make it more accessible to him. If you would like to help an account has been set up at U.S. Bank under his name. The Band of Brothers is also helping out the family.