MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Considered the most critical COVID patient to survive in one Twin Cities hospital, a family is sharing their father’s miraculous will to live. From a coma, on a ventilator and ECMO machine, Jerry Greenwood suffered weeks of complications and setbacks.
Nearly 100 days later, he is still in the hospital and still determined to live.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: As State Reaches 2 Million With First Vaccine Dose, MDH Reports 1,784 Cases, 13 Deaths Sunday
“The whole family started Nov. 18,” Jerry’s wife, Lila Greenwood, said.
After sticking close to home and following the precautions to protect their dad, who is diabetic, COVID still crept in to the Greenwoods’ home in Mora.
“You always view your dad as someone that’s invincible. Kind of feeling helpless and not able to do much,” his son, Austin Greenwood, told us.
While the rest of the family recovered, Jerry Greenwood just got worse.
“We brought him in twice. They released him each time and the third time is when they admitted him,” Lila Greenwood said.
The 53-year-old Chrysler service manager went from the local hospital to Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis.
“His breathing just got so bad, within 30 minutes they had him on a coma and on a ventilator,” Lila Greenwood said.
Days later brought more setbacks. Doctors hooked Jerry Greenwood to an ECMO machine, taking over his badly damaged lungs.
“He was a complete white out on his lungs. They were all white. There was no air moving through them at all,” Lila Greenwood said.READ MORE: Minnesota Stares Down Another COVID-19 Surge
“Yeah, it was pretty scary there for a while,” his daughter, Ashley Newgard, said.
In al, he suffered internal bleeding, a collapsed lung, lung infections and double pneumonia. His care team even had to replace his ECMO machine at one point.
Forty-eight days later in February, his levels finally improved.
“He actually woke up on Feb. 5. He looked at the nurse and said, ‘Call my wife,’” Lila Greenwood said.
Jerry Greenwood was just moved to a rehabilitation center to recover at the end of last month. He is able to talk and has his wits about him but he has to learn to use his body again.
“The longest he has stood for, which was today, was for two minutes,” Lila Greenwood said.
“It’s just eye opening to see what is does and what it can do,” Austin Greenwood said.
Doctors believe it will still be months before he can go back home. The Greenwoods are grateful for the care he received.
“It is a miracle the he survived this,” his wife said.MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: 2,454 New Cases And 12 Deaths Reported; Over 30% Of Eligible Minnesotans Are Fully Vaccinated
The Greenwood’s have been told their medical bills could top $2 million after the long hospital stay. They’re still unsure what insurance will cover. They are hosting a socially-distanced fundraiser later this month and have set up a GoFundMe to help offset some of the costs.