COVID-19 patient returns home on his birthday

Coronavirus
Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020.

Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 61-year-old Howard City man who is recovering COVID-19 got to go home on his birthday. 

Don Force graduated from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit that serves patients who tested positive for the virus and need intensive rehab. The program is designed to serve up to 18 patients. Force was the first one to be admitted and the second patient to be released, the hospital said. 

Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020. (Courtesy of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital)Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020. (Courtesy of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital)
Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020. (Courtesy of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital)

The hospital says Force, a retired tow truck driver, was staying at home and washing his hands. But a bad cough turned into a trip to the emergency room at Spectrum Health on March 29.

At Spectrum, Force was transferred to the intensive care unit and intubated. He was on a ventilator for 10 days, Mary Free Bed said. 

Force was able to leave the ICU and was sent to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation. 

Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020. (Courtesy of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital)
Don Force is graduating from the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s ReCOVery Unit on his 61tst birthday on April 28, 2020. (Courtesy of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital)

He spent 12 days at the ReCOVery Unit doing physical, occupational and speech therapy.

In a news release, Force says he is excited to go home to his wife of 42 years, Cindy and his cat, Deeks.

“Being able to go back home on my birthday, is the best gift ever,” Force said in the release.

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