There are still some unknowns when it comes to the coronavirus, but one thing that has been learned is that it affects people in various ways.
A North Dakota native was given only a 10 percent chance to live during his six-month battle with COVID complications.
“It was literally day-to-day, sometimes it was hour-by-hour, on whether I was going to make it or not,” said Ed Knutt.
Knutt’s scare with the coronavirus started in July when he was experiencing symptoms but a negative test left him thinking he was in the clear.
A few days later, he was admitted to the E.R.
“The next thing I recollect is 2.5 months later,” Knutt said.
“I don’t think Ed and I, any one of us thought that it would be like this six-month ordeal, you know? We kind of thought he’d go into the hospital and in a couple days he would be home,” said Marti Gillen, Ed’s wife.
But, things went south fast…
Another COVID test came back positive.
The 59-year-old’s lungs were filled up with fluid that he had to receive ECMO treatment.
“ECMO is, in layman’s terms, equivalent to dialysis, except it pulls carbon dioxide out of the blood and re-oxygenates the blood,” Knutt said.
He received the treatment for three-and-a-half weeks.
During all of this, he experienced a long list of complications that he says nobody was prepared for: cardiac arrest, a bed sore, low blood platelet count, muscle deterioration and nerve damage just to name a few.
“It took me a long time to actually think that this man wasn’t going to die because every day, I really thought he was going to die,” Gillen said.
He was also in two comas, and he says he was aware of what was happening around him during the second one.
“I finally gave up and I said, ‘God, either take me … or send me back.’ And around the same time, it’ll come up in my wife’s conversation, too, and I’m almost positive, based on what she was talking about, she did the same thing about the same time. She walked out in the backyard, threw her arms up, and said, ‘Either take him or bring him back. I can’t do it anymore,'” Knutt said.
After months of treatment, Ed started to recover.
He started physical therapy on Jan. 7 — nearly six months after being admitted to the hospital.
One of the best days was when he stood up on his own.
“That was a very big day for me because I didn’t think I could walk again,” Knutt said.
“A couple days later, we were in the room and she made you get up and walk across like 10 steps and he hugged me,” Gillen said.
They both say the entire experience has been humbling and they’ll never take the little things for granted.
“I believe that my time here is not finished because, by rights, I shouldn’t be alive,” Knutt said.
Knutt spent most of his life in Rolla and Williston before eventually moving to Florida.
But North Dakota nice reached the sunshine state when the hospital held a parade to celebrate Ed’s recovery.