The COVID-19 outbreak has soured everyone’s mood. Amid the fear and gloom the virus has spread, there are incredible stories that fill us with hope. Omar Taylor from England has one such story to tell. A father who suffered from pneumonia, heart failure, strokes, sepsis, and eventually COVID-19, Taylor was successful in overcoming his illness and fulfilling the promise of coming home to celebrate his son’s birthday.
After being diagnosed with the illness, Taylor was admitted to intensive care for about a month at Colchester Hospital. Doctors had to put Taylor on a ventilator to keep him alive and were apprehensive as to his future. They even warned Taylor’s family that he might never walk again, even if he managed to survive. As such, his family had prepared for the worst. However, beating all odds, Taylor survived and made an astonishing recovery. He was the first person at the hospital to have ever come off the ventilator in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When he walked out of the hospital, Taylor received a standing ovation from the doctors and nurses who had taken care of him. And when he reached home, the neighbors had prepared a rousing welcome. According to his wife Kaitlyn, Taylor was very determined to become better for his son’s second birthday. She believes that it was this desire that gave her husband the willpower to eventually recover and come back home. Taylor is still riddled with some mobility and speech issues. However, this is expected to ease off with time.
Taylor is the regional director of Care UK, a company that provides social and health care. After knowing about Taylor’s condition, a friend had set up an online fundraising campaign that succeeded in raising £18,000 (US$22,227). Many of the donations came from people whom Taylor had helped. Kaitlyn admits that the funds were extremely helpful for the family. “We want to thank everyone who has donated. The strain on the NHS is overwhelming, so we are hoping to get some private rehabilitation… It is just so important to us and allows us to solely focus on Omar and give him the best possible chance for a full recovery,” she said, as reported by the BBC.
Meanwhile, scientists will be conducting research on Taylor’s recovery, exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the human body. The doctors believe that the study might help in the treatment of other COVID-19 patients. Taylor has agreed to the proposal.
A miracle in Kansas
In Kansas, the recovery of 46-year-old physician Karl Viddal shocked doctors at the Phoenix Hospital. When he was admitted to the hospital with the COVID-19 infection, Viddal’s condition was extremely critical. The doctors tried every trick in the book, finding to their dismay that nothing seemed to work. They had resigned into thinking that the physician was facing inevitable death. As a last-ditch effort, the doctors decided to try out using an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, a machine that has been called the “highest form of life support.”
The machine circulated the patient’s blood through an artificial lung using a pump. The artificial lung took out carbon dioxide from the blood while adding in oxygen. By providing enough oxygen to the body, the lungs and heart in the body are given time to heal. Viddal spent 16 days on ECMO, developing complications like blood clots. Almost half the patients who are put on ECMO for COVID-19 usually do not survive the procedure. Fortunately, Viddal eventually came off ECMO and has recovered from COVID-19 after spending 55 days in the hospital.