FLOWER MOUND, Texas - A North Texas high school principal is finally home from the hospital and warning others to take the coronavirus seriously. He had a terrible battle with COVID-19.
Flower Mound High School Principal Chad Russell tested positive for COVID-19 after Thanksgiving.
He ended up in the intensive care unit and spent 12 days on a ventilator. He was taken off the machine on New Year’s Eve.
"I do remember on New Year’s Day having the phone pressed up against my ear and having the family tell me Happy New Year," he recalled.
Russell is now back home with his wife and children after six weeks in three different hospitals.
He still has a long road ahead. He’s still on oxygen and he’s working on his strength and endurance in outpatient therapy.
He said support from family, friends and the school community has helped him get through it.
There have been two prayer vigils and a former student set up a GoFundMe account.
Students also decorated the school with blue ribbons to show their support for their beloved principal.
"It’s really cool. They are all over the front of the high school. They’re on trees, on poles, handrails. They are all over the place. It’s nice, really nice," said Jennifer Russell, his wife and a school counselor for Lewisville ISD.
For now, Russell is taking it day by day. He hopes to work from home until he can transition back to the office.
"I think in my heart I believe God wasn’t quite through with me on this Earth. He’s got something planned for me. I’m anxious to continue this journey to figure out what that something is that I need to do. Reach a kid, reach somebody out here, reach somebody and to make a difference down here," he said.
He also offered some advice for people who catch COVID-19 – get an oxygen meter to monitor your levels. And if they drop or your symptoms worsen, go to the hospital.
Russell said he wishes he’d gone to the hospital for treatment sooner.