A man is living a ‘second life’ after he was discharged from hospital last week where he spent more than five months receiving Covid-19 treatment after developing severe condition due to Covid-19 infection. The unlucky man contracted the virus just two weeks away from retirement and he was discharged after health care experts helped him gain the strength to walk again.
The story about T. Heaton was reported by multiple outlets after he left the hospital last Tuesday following five-month-long battle with the virus and immediately became local hero. Heaton, now former correction officer, contracted Covid-19 last September as he was preparing for his retirement which was only two weeks away.
Like most the those who contracted and recovered from Covid, Heaton though he will get over the virus easily developing no or mild symptoms, but he realized he was mistaken once his condition started worsening and he was hospitalized in a local hospital for further treatment. Heaton surely didn’t expect he will have to spend the next 160 in hospital fighting the deadly virus.
Despite doctors’ efforts, the treatment didn’t show results at the beginning. In a matter of days, Heaton’s condition deteriorated to the point where his kidneys failed and he fell into a coma for six weeks. A number of times, the man’s family came to his bedside and he was given last rites.
Heaton’s family, friends and colleagues were hopeless, but the 61-year-old fought for his life and his condition started to improve. The months-long battle with the virus is not completely finished, but Heaton was released from hospital last week and he is going to continue with the treatment in his New York home until complete recovery.
Closest family members and friends gathered outside the hospital last Tuesday and a small celebration took place as he was finally discharged and sent home. News 12 spoke with Heaton expressing thanks to every healthcare workers in the hospital who helped him during the months-long stay there: “The doctors saved my life, that’s all I can say,” he said. “Never give up in the power of God and prayer.”
The retiring officer was in a coma after suffering a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. He required a tracheotomy and his kidneys shut down. During all that period, Heaton lost more than 40 pounds and missed his first grandchild birth. In the end, Heaton was the winner and the celebration was described as a “celebration of life.”
“It’s a very incredible story. It’s just a true miracle,” one worker said. “From day one he wanted to beat this. Just an honor to work with him,” another worker said.
“We were told multiple times to come in to say our goodbyes. They told us there was nothing else they could do,” daughter Nicole said. “Things were very dim at that time. She gave my dad a lot of purpose,” his other daughter said.
Heaton has been working as correction officer for more than 30 years. As he was leaving the hospital, he said he is praying for world peace and he now knows overcoming challenges can be achieved. When asked what is the first thing to do when he gets home, he said he will say hi to his dog Cappy.