What recovering from COVID-19 looks like for Madison County man hospitalized for 109 days

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Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 19:21:07-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — After spending 109 days in the hospital battling COVID-19, Tom Howser was finally sent home back in May.

Hospital staff lined his path out to the car and cheered him on as he left.

When he got home to Berea, that love and support continued.

He's received dozens of cards and phone calls from people who said they hope his recovery goes well.

"It feels good that you got a lot of support in the world," Howser said.

It's motivated him to stay positive because recovery is tough. He's still on oxygen and needs a feeding tube.

His wife, Patty, has become his full-time caretaker.

"We have a calendar that we write down each time that we feed him to keep up with his feeding times," Patty said.

She also keeps track of all of the medication he must take, and she helps him with everything from feeding him to getting him dressed in the morning.

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A table of medications Tom needs to recover from COVID-19.

"It's a lot," she said. "There's a lot to it that I wasn't ready for I guess."

Her faith has guided her through it.

"I'm just so thankful," she said. "Just so thankful to have him home. I know we still got a road to go, but we're going, and that's the most important thing. The Lord will get us through it. I know he will."

"We still got a way to go," Tom said. "But like I say, I think there's light at the end of the tunnel, so I'm fortunate for that."

The couple will be married for 38 years in July. They're a team. Together they're determined to get Tom healthy no matter what it takes or how long it takes.

Doctors estimate he will recover in six to twelve months but may be on oxygen for the rest of his life.