Colleton County man’s recovery from COVID-19 called miraculous

Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:44 PM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - After 65 days in the hospital, 27 of those on a ventilator, a 63-year-old Colleton County man overcame COVID-19.

James Linder first experienced flu symptoms back in May, his wife, Clemustine says.

A few days later, he became sick again. He went to his doctor and tested positive for COVID-19.

James said he wanted to go to the hospital and was admitted on May 21.

Clemustine recalls what she said to him.

“You’re not gonna die in this house, you’re going to the hospital and you’re gonna get well and you’re coming home,” Clemustine said.

James’ condition grew worse at the hospital. He was placed in intensive care for 37 days and needed a ventilator to breathe.

At one point Linder had to be revived. His doctors feared he would die.

“There were several days that he would take a dip for the worse and we would have to adjust his respiratory rate, his oxygen levels,” respiratory therapist Frankie Hiers said. “And it’s one of the highest respiratory rates we’ve ever run here,”

“There were days when we did not think he would pull through,” Hiers said.

Clemustine, who is a pastor, prayed her husband would pull through.

About two months into his hospital stay, James woke up. Clemustine’s prayers were answered.

“I said, ‘Lord, thank you, Jesus.‘ I said, ‘Man, you did alright,‘” she said.

“He fought through this and his body recovered over time, it was a remarkable journey for him,” pulmonary critical care specialist Dr. Robert Thomas said.

Linder was released from the hospital on July 24. He remembers very little about his battle with the virus but he’s thankful to be alive.

“I thank God and I know he’s a healer. I’m so glad that he saved my life,” Linder said.

Linder is now undergoing outpatient rehab and is getting ready to celebrate his 64th birthday later this month.

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