More and more COVID-19 survivors are sharing their stories even as the media seems to only report bad news.
Scott Bruegge is the latest survivor to go public about his recovery.
When asked how he handled his time of illness, Bruegge said two things carried him through:
Family and faith.
Bruegge’s COVID-19 infection started with a simple cough. Bruegge made the responsible decision to work from home when he started running a low-grade fever.
Things seemed to take an upward turn as his cough and fever initially faded, but it wasn’t long before Bruegge felt even worse than before.
When he developed a deep, persistent cough and became lethargic, Bruegge knew something was wrong.
“We contacted my doctor’s office and they got me into the drive-through testing,” he said. “I was informed that I had tested positive.”
Once the test results came back, it was only a matter of time before Bruegge’s condition worsened.
“They told me to monitor my symptoms and if breathing became more difficult to call my doctor,” Bruegge remembered.
It wasn’t long before it was almost impossible for Bruegge to breathe on his own.
“Things began getting extremely rough…and my wife started calling around to figure out what to do since I was COVID-19 positive.”
Bruegge ended up in his local emergency room, and his battle with COVID-19 began in earnest.
Despite being initially optimistic about his recovery, Bruegge quickly realized that the virus was more deadly than he’d thought.
“This was my first hospital stay and major illness, so I don’t have much to compare it to,” he admitted. “COVID-19 attacks your lungs and can turn into pneumonia very quickly.”
“As a 50-year-old man who has a pretty clean health history, I am telling you, this is not the flu.”
Bruegge displayed the “class signs of COVID-19,” according to his doctors, and his oxygen levels decreased dramatically after he was admitted to the hospital.
“Mr. Bruegge is a young man,” said Dr. Krishna Rangarajan, a pulmonary specialist who cared for Bruegge throughout his hospitalization. “He is healthy and still suffered the harsh consequences of COVID-19.”
“There was nothing that could have been done sooner to prevent him from getting sicker.”
Bruegge’s condition continued to decline, and he spent 11 days breathing on a ventilator as doctors and nurses worked to help him survive.
“He came in at the right time and the team did all they could to help him improve as fast as possible,” said Dr. Rangarajan.
Still, Bruegge’s recovery was a fight for everyone involved—including his family.
Bruegge’s family couldn’t visit him in the hospital, of course, but they did everything they could to encourage him from afar.
“[Pictures of my family] were a great reminder for me to get stronger each day so I could get home sooner rather than later,” reflected Bruegge.
“I am so thankful for my wife, Shannon, and my daughters, Audrey and Ashley, for giving me pictures and post-it notes to hang up in my room.”
A key turning point in Bruegge’s recovery was the first FaceTime conversation he had with his wife after getting off the ventilator.
“The first thing he heard was his wife’s voice and he immediately smiled from ear to ear,” said Dr. Rangarajan. “It gave us all hope and brightened a dark situation.”
“Since I was not seeing visitors, being able to FaceTime my wife, daughters, brothers, mom and dad…was great,” said Bruegge.
But it wasn’t only his family that carried Bruegge through his days of recovery. He also recognized the importance of his faith throughout this struggle.
“This is a very humbling experience for someone to go through at any age,” he said. “I give credit and gracious appreciation to [my doctors], but I also know that prayers and my faith prepared me to get out of that dark and scary place that this virus takes you to.”
Bruegge’s wife, Shannon, said that she prayed “multiple times a day” for God to heal her husband’s lungs and provide wisdom and protection for his doctors and nurses.
“She’s been through a lot, but her love for me and her faith kept her spirits lifted so she could be strong for me,” Bruegge concluded.
Now mostly recovered, Bruegge has been overjoyed to come home and be with his family again. He is grateful to God for preserving his life.
Praise God for His mighty work throughout this pandemic! Let’s keep praying for all those affected by COVID-19.