GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — COVID-19 can have different effects on different people, and in the case of John Curtis, the road to recovery has been met with multiple life-threatening complications.
After more than six months in three hospitals across the state, he’s finally going home.
“John (Curtis) has done fantastic, but he’s really been through a lot,” said Dr. Ralph Wang, a rehab physician at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
Curtis, 44, has been in the hospital with COVID-19 since March 19.
Since then, he has dealt with abdominal surgery, a collapsed lung, seizures, sepsis, myopathy and paralysis.
“I think COVID probably caused half of his problems,” Wang said. “So, it was very significant. I think it probably prolonged how much time he was on the ventilator and probably contributed to his seizures and brain damage.”
The severity of COVID-19 varies depending on the person.
“It’s a new disease,” he said. “And I’m studying it myself and we are seeing people with permanent heart, lung, and neurological damage even if you’re really young.”
And after 195 days, Curtis has the strength to go home to Saginaw.
“We’re really proud of his outcome and mostly because of his effort and his family and a little bit of our help,” Wang said.
John’s wife was by his side for almost every step of his recovery.
“I wouldn’t have been anywhere else,” said Debi Curtis, John’s wife. “He needed his family and the love and that’s what we did.”
“She was a good supporter,” John Curtis said.
The virus has permanently changed their lives, out of nowhere.
“John was perfectly healthy,” said Debi. “He was going to work, he was going grocery shopping, he was doing everything like that. And just woke up one day and had a temperature of 104 and fainted a couple of times and that was it. He went into the hospital.”
Any of John Curtis’s health complications could have killed him, but his wife helped him overcome the odds.
“In the blink of an eye, it can change,” she said. “And who knows if it will ever get better. I am not going to take life for granted anymore. And I’m not going to take John for granted anymore.”
They’ll be celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary later in the month.
John still has about six months of intensive rehabilitation to go, though his doctor believes he will make a nearly full recovery.