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Missouri pastor recovering after 86 days on a ventilator due to COVID-19

KEYT

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    FARMINGTON, Missouri (KMOV ) — Belgrade United Methodist Church pastor David Fitzmaurice was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 on August 22nd and hasn’t been home since. But his condition has finally turned the corner according to his wife Patty Fitzmaurice.

“David is on the road to recovery. He has made great progress,” she said.

Fitzmaurice said she and David tested positive for COVID-19 on August 17th, and while her symptoms were mild, his were not.

“Every symptom that was listed on the CDC website, David had,” said Fitzmaurice.

Patty said David’s condition got so bad she called an ambulance and he was eventually taken to DePaul Hospital. She said David was put on a ventilator the first day and stayed on a ventilator for 86 days.

Fitzmaurice said several times, doctors told her that David probably wouldn’t make it and that the family should start making preparations.

“And about the time we would, David would rally. And it would be like, okay, if David’s not giving up, we’re not going to give up,” she said.

According to Fitzmaurice, David had to be placed on dialysis because his kidneys stopped working after developing sepsis. She also said he went 26 days without waking up. The family prayed every day that David would wake up and one day their son, Silas, went to visit his father and witnessed a major breakthrough.

“He walked in on a Wednesday afternoon, he said ‘Hey Dad it’s Silas.’ And David’s head was turned the opposite direction from the doorway. And Silas said David turned his head and looked at him and said ‘Hi Si,'” Patty said.

Fitzmaurice said she’s grateful for all the prayers and support from the congregations where David previously serviced and those associated with a church youth camp where he once was involved. But she said she wouldn’t have been able to get through each day without the support of the church members at Belgrade United Methodist Church.

Pastor David improved enough to send a video Christmas message to the congregation that was posted on his Facebook page on December 23rd. Patty said, after all that David and the family have been through, she’s strongly encouraging people to get the COVID vaccine and to wear a mask.

“That’s the least I can do, to wear a mask. To avoid having to go through what my husband has had to go through, what my family has had to go through these last four months,” she said.

Fitzmaurice said David’s currently at a skilled nursing facility in Farmington and faces months of physical therapy to regain his strength. She said the lesson she learned during David’s ordeal that she wants the families of other COVID patients to hear: never give up hope.

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