COVID-19 patient released after spending 44 days in a Fort Worth hospital

A coronavirus patient who's been at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth for more than six weeks has been released from the hospital.

His wife, who is a nurse, is among those who prepared themselves emotionally that he would not make it.

Matthew Bell, who was diagnosed with COVID-19, had been in the hospital for 44 days. Away from his two kids and his wife, Margaret.

Now, he’s going home.

“I feel whole again,” Margaret said.

The Bells love to travel. Their 21st wedding anniversary trip to Iceland was supposed to happen in early May, but pandemic restrictions cancelled it.

They had no idea the coronavirus would later directly hit their family.

Early in Matthew’s diagnosis, his kidneys were failing. He had heart issues and a fever. He prayed, thinking, it could be the end.

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“If this is your will, I’m ready,” he said.

Even workers at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital were unsure.

“There are times when you know when someone is that ill that the only thing that is going to come into play is God’s power,” registered respiratory therapist Tim Fox said.

Fox prayed for Matthew each day.

They believe their prayers were answered.

“And God came through and brought healing to his body,” Fox said.

Matthew is now working to regain his strength.

“Making these huge strides. Walking down the hallway, eating regular food,” RN nursing supervisor Stephanie McClaren said.

“I think we’re all thrilled,” nurse Ashley Holder added.

The Bells are grateful to the ones facilitating his recovery.

“I mean, they’re instruments of God. That’s what they are,” Matthew said.

A parade of hospital workers said farewell Friday afternoon.

“I’m feeling great. I’m feeling great,” Matthew said.

For Matthew, the worst feeling throughout this process was knowing his wife, with so many unknowns, didn’t have him near to comfort her.

“To have to sit by, helplessly and just hear bad things about me and not go crazy. It takes a lot of strength,” he said.

His wife now hopes he regains the strength to, eventually, take that vacation they planned.

“Yeah, he still owes me my trip to Iceland,” Margaret joked. “We’ll make it. We’ll make it.”

And Matt knows where to find some of that strength.

“And I’m not as strong as she is, so just seeing her fills me with energy,” he said.

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