Kentucky man heads home from hospital after almost 4 months on ventilator

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
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ROCKCASTLE, CO. (WKYT) -After almost four months on a ventilator and stays in a couple of hospitals, a Laurel County man has won his fight against COVID-19.

Friday morning, 57-year-old Terry Smith was finally able to head home. He’s the first post-COVID-19 patient who was transferred from another facility to be discharged from Rockcastle Regional Hospital.

“Thank you Jesus that’s the only way Terry has recovered. This is a miracle, and I know it because I work in healthcare,” Terry’s wife, Teresa Smith says.

Teresa says she and her husband got the virus in November. She says she only had flu-like symptoms, but Terry wasn’t as lucky. As a nurse practitioner, Teresa says she’s seen a variety of symptoms for patients with COVID-19, but she says she was surprised by how hard her husband was hit by the virus.

“You just never think it will hit home, hit your house, you now, and unfortunately it did,” Teresa says.

After one day at Baptist Health Corbin, Terry found himself in the ICU. Later, he was transferred to Rockcastle Regional Hospital.

Rehab director Emily Valentine says when Terry first arrived, he needed the help of two people to sit up on the edge of his bed.

“Emotionally he was very depressed from being away from family, so we kind of started from ground 0 and he has worked his way up to you know walking out of here and going home with family,” Valentine says.

Through it all, Teresa says she knew her husband of 30 years would recover.

“It wasn’t going to be an easy road, but he was going to be ok, so we stood on that and we believed it, and that’s where your faith comes in I guess,” Teresa says.

After getting out of the hospital, Teresa says Terry’s probably most excited to go back to work, see family, and play some golf.

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