(SHREVEPORT, LA) – "I'm really happy and blessed to be here walking on earth once again," said, Juan Zuniga.
Months ago Juan almost lost his life after defending his mom.
She was robbed right outside of their family business, El Compadre Mexican Restaurant and Seafood.
"I stepped in to her rescue, and next thing I know, I'm shot and I'm taken to the hospital," said Juan.
Juan was shot twice in the chest while defending his mom.
Doctors at University Health worked quickly to save Juan’s life.
He lost a lot of blood, and one of his lungs collapsed.
It collapsed because a bullet passed through my lung and they couldn't control the bleeding. That's why I lost a lot of blood too and the only way to save my life was if I lost my right lung," said Juan.
Juan was kept alive with an ECMO machine.
It pumped and oxygenated Juan’s blood outside of his body, giving his left lung a break.
Juan didn't know he could survive with one lung.
"I feel fine; I don't feel any pain. I'll get winded if I do something physically demanding, but all the doctors told me you just need one lung to live. Even the Pope has one lung too so, I'm in good company with him," said Juan.
Juan spent about 70 days recovering in two different hospitals.
He visits staff at University Health often, he brings treats to thank them for getting him back on his feet.
Recently, Juan donated a $75,000 check.
He says the money came from donations collected while he was in the hospital.
"It's a lot of money too, and I was like, I just, I don't feel worthy of this, Like I have to give it back. And, I think giving back by saving lives and donating to a good cause, I think it'll be handy," said Juan.
University Health's Facebook page says Juan’s donation will be used to buy more lifesaving tools.
Juan's thankful he was able to do something for the team that saved him, but he wishes he could do more.
"I mean I just can't, I don't think there's enough because I mean I trusted in God, and I put them in God's hands, and I think that helps out too. but, there are just not enough actions for me to say thanks," said Juan.