Dallas man recovering from COVID-19 at home after spending 36 days in ICU

A Dallas man is home recovering from COVID-19 after spending 36 days in the ICU. Three weeks of that time was in a medically induced coma.

Doug Kinzey said it feels like a piece of his life is missing.

One minute, he's got fever and chills, the next, he’s waking up in the hospital disoriented, unaware he'd been fighting for his life.

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The 71-year-old left Baylor Scott & White Plano last Thursday, and was cheered on by the men and women who made the moment possible.

“I am feeling overjoyed, and incredibly blessed, and every day I’m getting better. And all that I think has to fall down in the miracle column,” Kinzey said.

In early March, Kinzey and his great nephew went to New York City.

“We decided to go and to take all the necessary precautions. We made a game of it. Wipe downs constantly, washing hands constantly, keeping distances from people. Who knows, I could have caught it here before I left. I could have caught it on the plane,” Kinzey explained. “Although we were distancing, we were wearing masks, we did all of that. But somewhere along the way, it got me. Major, major got me.”

A lover of classical music, a pianist for the Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church of Dallas, and avid cyclist, Kinzey said he had no underlying health conditions.

But he’d become one of the first coronavirus patients admitted to that hospital, spending 36 days in ICU.

One of the first to experience healing in isolation.

“We were paving new paths in care and in treatment,” Baylor Scott & White Plano Chief Nursing Officer Susan Moats said. “How do we help alleviate the patients’ fear? How do we let them know and feel our presence around them and with them, and also assure their families that we are there?”

Along the way, Kinzey said he’s felt plenty of love from hospital staff.

And he also got to enjoy a socially distanced front yard performance on Sunday by the church choir he’s been a part of for more than 40 years.

Now he shares a message for others.

“The reality of it is worth incredible vigilance. Take is seriously. That’ doesn’t mean hide. That doesn’t mean live in fear,” he said.

Kinzey said he's already gained four pounds and he's walking around the block.

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