PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Tampa Bay man receives outpouring of support from across the globe after waking from his 51-day medically induced coma to treat his COVID-19 infection.
28-year-old Casey Gray of Pinellas County, Florida endured what many of us hope to never to experience in our lifetime, all due to COVID-19. Gray explains his attempt to follow health official protocols, “Me and my wife were quarantined pretty well. The only time we really went out was to go to the store. We started to get sick but we didn’t think it was Covid at first. We made an appointment to go get tested, but I woke up that morning and I just couldn’t breathe.”
On July fifth, Gray was admitted to Largo Medical Center’s emergency room. “My test came back positive. The next day I was having trouble breathing again, even with the nasal cannula, so they put me on high-flow oxygen,” said Gray. But he was still having trouble breathing, so doctors decided to put him on a ventilator. That’s when physicians noticed other complications. “I had blood clots, my lungs weren’t working, I had bleeding. I started deteriorating really, really fast.”
Physicians decided Gray needed to be intubated due to his rapidly declining health. Doctors proceeded to sedated him into an induced coma which lasted 51 days. “They sedated me. I just remember getting a mask on my face… counting backwards and.. that was it,” said Gray. It didn’t stop at the intubation though. “So I actually had two tubes in my neck and two in my leg. And then while I was on the operating table, they were like, ‘Well, since he’s here, we need to trache him’.”
Days turned to weeks. Gray recounts, “I woke up and um.. I didn’t know what the day was… I thought it was still July and [my wife] was like ‘No, it’s the middle of August’.” He proceeded along his slow road of recovery, spending a total of 75 days at the hospital.
When asked what he missed the most being away from home, Gray replied, “One day I was just like ‘you know, I just really want to be around family.’ And so we decided we’d move in with her mom and dad and that way my parents could come [visit] and my brother.”
Recognizing his inspirational road to recovery is not yet complete, Gray gained an outpouring of support from across the globe. “I was the sickest person in the hospital at the time and I made it out… and I know not everybody gets that chance. I had a lot of people praying for me. I’ve gotten letters from like, Canada, Africa, people prayed for me in South Asia. It’s been very crazy and I feel very blessed by it.”
CW44 will continue to follow Gray and his story and will provide further updates.
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