Man on road to recovery after 17 days on ventilator due to COVID-19

A Montgomery County man is on the road to recovery after spending 17 days on a ventilator due to COVID-19.

"He started with a fever and chills, you know, thought he had the flu, and by Wednesday I had it, our girls had it," Kelly DeWan told FOX 29.

After getting together for a birthday celebration, the whole DeWan family had COVID-19, including both sets of grandparents. By mid-march, Mike, the father of four girls, was in the hospital.

"He was really critically ill. He had severe damage to his lungs from the virus," Penn Presbyterian Hospital Dr. William Short said. 

With the whole family sick and restrictions on visitors no one could see him. Mike was on the ventilator for 17 days.


Nurses and hospital staff helped Kelly FaceTime her husband. They even printed out a picture she sent him to show she and the girls were watching over him.

With options looking grim, Kelly tried to stay positive, Dr. Short gave her the option to try a drug called Remdesivir but made no promises.

"Kind of decided we didn’t really have a choice. We had to give it a shot," Kelly said.

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that hasn’t been clinically tested yet. They don’t know what role this played without a clinical trial.

"To actually see him get better and go home really was such a positive experience for the whole health system," Dr. Short said.

The staff stood outside and clapped as he drove off to go home. Dr. Short says Mike was the first COVID-19 patient to come off a ventilator at Penn Presbyterian, but more have followed and he won't be the last to make it through.

"People need to hear it because there has to be some kind of hope in all of this," Mike said.


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