‘I owe my life to them’: COVID-19 survivor reunites with healthcare workers who saved him

MADISON, Wis. — After months of rehabilitation, learning to eat, breathe and walk again, Scott Douglas, 57, is finally back home with his family after a long battle with COVID-19.

“It’s a lot to get through this,” Douglas said. “It’s been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and I’ve done a lot of difficult things in my life.”Img 3929

Douglas tested positive for COVID-19 in March. He spent two weeks on a ventilator, two weeks recovering and several weeks in rehab. He was able to return home Saturday.

Douglas said while he was in the intensive care unit at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, he was also battling pneumonia. Today, he is able to walk with a walker, shower and eat on his own.

“I feel stronger. I feel good. I’m just so fortunate to be where I am today because there’s a lot of people that didn’t make it,” he said.

In a special moment held at SSM Health Monday, Douglas was able to reunite with the nurses who kept him alive. He presented the nurses with a guardian angel pin.

“I can’t thank them enough. I owe my life to them,” Douglas said.

One of the nurses who helped Douglas, Ashley Bauer, has only been working as an RN for a year. She said to receive such a high honor was humbling.

“It’s awesome to know a patient appreciated your care that much and your hard work is paying off,” Bauer said. “The fact that he was ventilated and now he’s doing so well, that’s a miracle. We don’t see that happen very often.”

As much as the nurses enjoyed reuniting with Douglas, they said they hope they never have to see him under those conditions again. Douglas said he is celebrating his homecoming by spending as much time with his family as possible.

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