“Most people with the underlying situations that he had and how sick he was would not have survived,” said Dr. Threlkeld.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are many battling the coronavirus. For some, especially those with underlying health conditions, it can cause a domino effect on other vital organs.
That is what happened with a patient at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Local 24 News Reporter, Brittani Moncrease spoke with him as he now can call himself a COVID-19 survivor.
COVID-19 has put a lot of stress on people, but when you hear stories of survivors, it is just the hope that is needed.
It is hard to see the expression on Baptist Memorial’s Dr. Stephen Threlkeld’s face, but it is indeed a smile.
“Any time a heart transplant patient is in the hospital for over 80 days and has COVID-19, it’s an extraordinary thing,” said Dr. Threlkeld.
His patient, Thomas Bryant, is finally going home.
“I feel good,” said Bryant.
“His number one asset was toughness and he certainly came through with flying colors,” said Dr. Threlkeld.
Bryant is the country’s second longest-living heart transplant survivor.
“He was transplanted in 1987. He has lived an entire additional generation with his new heart,” said Dr. Threlkeld.
He is now the longest-living heart transplant patient to beat COVID-19.
“He came in on April the second,” said Dr. Threlkeld.
“Shortness of breath. I couldn’t breathe,” said Bryant.
“He was doing okay until about a week into some of those symptoms, he just really went over the ball. He required a breathing tube and ventilation. We gave him plasma therapy and some of the then newer therapy for COVID-19,” said Dr. Threlkeld.
Bryant was put on a ventilator not once or twice, but four times.
“He’s in his 70s and he’s had a heart transplant, so he’s immunosuppressed. He has kidney failure and is on human dialysis,” said Dr. Threlkeld. “I think it’s safe to say that most people with the underlying situations that he had and how sick he was would not have survived.”
Thomas Bryant is the 2nd longest-living heart transplant recipient in the country. After battling COVID-19, he’s now the longest-living heart transplant recipient to beat the virus. pic.twitter.com/BjW7NHXO3j
— Brittani Moncrease (@Local24Brittani) June 25, 2020
During his treatment, Bryant stayed positive.
“I don’t worry about stuff like that,” said Bryant.
He kept the hospital staff in good spirits.
Local 24 News asked, “What do I think of them?”
“They don’t count,” said Bryant while laughing. “No, I’m just joking. All of them have been good to me.”
He is a miracle with an energy that beats on.
“I’m going to Disney World,” said Bryant.
He really has his eyes set on going fishing.
The plan is for him to be released Friday and then complete physical therapy.
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