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COVID-19 survivor is thankful to be home after 45 days in the hospital

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – “Lots better, I’m going through therapy and some wound care.”

Doug Bice is getting better every day after a 45 day battle with COVID-19. In March, Doug and his wife Judy came down with the virus, but at first, they thought it was just stress.

Doug’s step-daughter, Lyndsay Mixon, is a nurse at St. Francis Medical Center and urged them to get tested when her mom, Judy, started developing a cough.

“And I wasn’t feeling any symptoms, but when I came home from work that Tuesday I was just dead tired,” says Doug. “I’ve never been so tired in my life, and I just said something is not right.”

When he started having issues with his breathing, Lyndsay urged him to go to the Emergency Room. Judy dropped him off, not knowing she wouldn’t see her husband for 45 days.

She received a call from Doug saying he was about to be put on a ventilator.

“So when I went home that day, I sit down, and Doug and I had dated 40 years ago, and evidently we went different ways that time, so I came home and I told God you can’t take him away the second time…and I prayed about it,” says Judy.

He spent 21 days on a ventilator.

“And on day 21, his nurse actually sent me a text message saying my goal is to get him off the ventilator today,” says Lyndsay.

“Fortunately after they removed the breathing tube he was able to breathe on his own, his nurse stayed with him and prayed with him…shortly after that he started following commands and over the next few days he still wouldn’t speak to us, except for minimal words,” explains Lyndsay. “And on a Sunday morning he woke up, and he was with us again.”

It was a sight his family was worried they wouldn’t be able to witness.

“I didn’t know I was even sick and then it just got me,” says Doug.

Doug’s nurse, Amy LaRavia, made sure she shared photos and videos of his grandkids to keep his spirits high throughout his recovery.

His family kept in touch through FaceTime and they were constantly outside the hospital with signs of support.

When Doug was discharged from the hospital, medical staff lined the halls to cheer him on.

“When I exited the hospital, that was just so touching,” says Doug. “Well, I was crying, haha, I’m glad I had a mask on and my hat pulled down low so no one could see it.”

“The day they told me he was coming home, I told Lyndsay, I called her and I said this is like our first date,” says Judy. “I don’t know what to wear, I had changed clothes like five times that morning.”

Seeing Doug leave the hospital wasn’t just meaningful for family and friends, but also those frontline workers at the hospital.

“What a day, not only as a family member, but as a team member that day. Our team had suffered so many losses, so many hard losses, and to see a victory was just an incredible celebration,” says Lyndsay.

LaRavia says taking care of Doug felt like she was taking care of a family member because she knew and worked with Lyndsay.

“It’s truly a God thing, we can’t know who’s going to live and who’s not going to live. God definitely has extra things for Doug Bice.”

The St. Francis Foundation was able to add a new 10-bed ICU unit at the hospital with money raised from their annual raffle. The unit was built right before the pandemic hit, meaning the hospital was able to care for more critical care patients, like Doug.

The 2 Cars 2 Winners raffle is going on right now, with ticket sales closing September 30th at midnight. Tickets are $50, and you can buy them on the St. Francis Foundation’s website or at Creed & Creed Law, Sparks Nissan, Van Trow Toyota, and the drive-thru of all locations of Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union. When you buy a ticket, you’ll be entered for a chance to with a 2020 Nissan Titan Pro 4X and 2020 Toyota 4Runner Limited.

Call (833)-884-2277 to buy tickets, or for more information about the raffle.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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