Their Team Was Key to My Miracle.
I contracted COVID-19 — my second bout of it during the pandemic — in late 2021. I know exactly when and where it happened. The infection took over within about eight to nine hours, and I told my wife, Michelle, “I think I’ve got something more than just a cold.” On Dec. 13, she brought me to Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics, where they tested me for COVID — it quickly came back positive. I ended up in the COVID wing and rapidly deteriorated from there. The severity of the infection made it difficult to get air into my lungs, which forced me to the ICU in Jacksonville.
Dr. Daniel Hallam was my attending physician. I remember distinctly the day he came into the ICU and said, “Rich, your respiratory system is failing. It’s failing quick. It’s just a matter of time. If we don’t ventilate you, you’re not going to make it.” I told him to go ahead and vent me. At that point, I just knew, come what may.
I was on the vent for 35 days, during which time I was heavily medicated, which left me completely immobile and decimated my body. Three different times, Michelle was called to Jacksonville because the providers were sure I wasn’t going to make it. But on Feb. 1, I was breathing well enough to be transferred back to Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics, where I began the long and difficult road to recovery.