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January 13, 2021
Date of Event:


SC man survives COVID-19 after wife's voice pulls him out of coma

True love saved the dayfor one man who was pulled from a coma caused by COVID-19 complications by thesound of his wife's voice.Don Gillmer tested positive for the coronavirus onJuly 5. Within four days, he started coughing and struggling to breathe."Didn'tsleep that night," he said. "Woke up early the next morning, packed abag and knew it was time to go to the hospital."At 43 years old, Don hadnever had to go to the hospital for illness or injury before, but he would haveto stay there for the next 63 days."I received convalescent plasma twice,Remdesevir," he said. "Nothing was working. Nothing was helping merecover, so I'll really never forget when they came in with papers I needed tosign to go on a ventilator. That scared me."Doctors had to place him in amedically-induced coma. They called his wife, Lacy, who rushed to come see him,along with his father."I just told him that he was doing great, that theywere taking such good care of him, he was in amazing hands," she said.Miraculously,Don says he not only heard his wife speaking to him, but that it helped savehim."I swear I heard her voice and, by the time she left, I wasstable," he said, "She's my angel, you know. She's the reason I'mhere."Though he was conscious, Don still had a difficult road to recoveryahead of him."I had a trach that they put in to help, so I couldn't talk.The left side of my body wasn't really functioning," he said.After weeksof learning to walk again, he was finally discharged on September 11.

However, he still attends physical therapy twice a week --which, he says, he wouldn't be able to get through without the support of hiswife."I think about her drive to the hospital the night they told her thatI may not make it," said Don. "You know, can't imagine that, so tellher often, I don't know that I could have been as strong as her."

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