AL.com reported the story of a man who was hospitalized with COVID-19 over six months ago.
Ricky Hamm, 50, set the record for the longest-staying COVID-19 patient at the UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala.
Shannon Hamm, the ex-patients wife, said that initially, they believed that the hospitalization would take only a couple of weeks and “it won’t be that long […] but it turned into a long ordeal.”
Hamm referred to the moment when he left the hospital as being “surreal.”
He said that it had been a long journey.
“I guess I haven’t really fathomed that it’s coming to an end. But it’s slowly starting to give me butterflies,” he added.
He spent nearly five months of the hospitalization on life support, the report says.
An extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO) was attached to him to assist with breathing for 147 of his 187 days of hospitalization.
Keith Wille, a medical director at UAB, said:
“ECMO is a complicated, complex procedure. It’s invasive and not much fun for the patient. In this case, it saved his life. But trust me; you do not want to go on ECMO.”
Hamm is a medevac helicopter pilot. He fell sick with the virus in January, soon after getting the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite that, he is still promoting the vaccine, as he says that he believes in it.
“I believe I already had the virus before I got the vaccine, before it could work to protect me. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I went through,” Hamm added.
His story is perhaps one of the more dramatic ones to come out of the pandemic. Imagine being hospitalized for that long!