GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A husband and father went home on Christmas Eve after spending several weeks on a ventilator, recovering from COVID.
71-year-old Edwin Colegrove and his wife Mary started coming down with COVID-like symptoms in late October. But they were both initially hoping the symptoms would go away with some rest.
Overnight on November 6, Edwin fell in his home. Luckily, his daughter Beverly was staying over at the time.
"Dad was saying, Oh, don't call, don't call, we're gonna wait. I was like, no... I'm calling 911. You have no say in this,” his daughter Beverly Rausch told FOX 17.
Edwin ended up being transported to Mercy, where he took a test and was found to be positive for COVID-19.
“At the time when Beverly went and called 911, I had COVID so bad," Edwin's wife Mary said Tuesday.
"I didn't know when they took him out, I knew nothing. I wasn't able to tell him, I love you or hug my kids.”
While Mary began recovering at home, Edwin's condition was deteriorating at Mercy. Medical staff at the time said that Edwin would likely die from the virus, but they were not ready to give up.
"My father wanted to talk to my mom and his daughters and said, 'I spent all day and all night just trying to breathe and I'm tired... do you want me to still continue to fight?. And we said, Yes, we would love that. And if you continue to fight, we will continue to pray," his dauhter Christie Palmer said.
And pray they did. Faith Church of Grand Rapids even organized a group prayer session outside of Mercy.
After several weeks on a ventilator came the call the family was waiting for.
"She's like, well, your dad squeezed my hand, and he opened his eyes and all this stuff. And I was just like... busting into tears right now,” Beverly said.
His daughter Christie said, "he got stronger, he was able to nod appropriately to a question and give us a thumbs up.”
Edwin was moved to Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids on December 14, accepted into their Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Program.
"Just to see Dad's determination and strength, to continue to push forward and push himself, to get stronger, and to gain that endurance, is just incredible," Cristie said.
And now, Edwin has received the go-ahead from his medical team to head home on Christmas Eve.
His wife Mary, who is feeling much better at this point, said, “it's just a miracle that he is still living, and my family together is the best Christmas present you could ever get.”
Her husband happens to agree.
"Don't give up," he told FOX 17 on Tuesday.
"It's going to be a fight, It's going to be a struggle. It was a fight. I didn't know that I could make, I didn't know I had to make it. But I kept fighting because my family wanted me to fight. And so I fought, and here I am today. It's been worth it.
The family has started a GoFundMe Campaign to try and cover some medical and utility costs that are piling up while Edwin is hospitalized. You can donate to that HERE.