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COVID-19 Patient Is Going Home After a Month

49-year-old began improving when he was taken off paralyzing drug
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2020 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two weeks into his stay at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, a doctor told Kim Bello that her husband, who first fell ill March 7, didn't have much of a chance. "That's when I lost it," she said. "I just kept thinking, 'There's no way. There's no way he can leave me with three kids.' He's like the best father, best husband, best everything." Not long after that, Jim Bello's condition improved, CBS reports. After spending 32 days on life support, Bello, 49, was able to leave the intensive care unit on Wednesday as hospital workers applauded. "Really from a medical standpoint, he’s an amazing victory for them. Amazing," his wife said. Bello expects to go home this week, per WFXT.

The coronavirus wasn't on the family's radar when Bello developed a fever on a ski trip. He was checked out by his doctor after the trip and was tested and sent home. Then, he woke up one day unable to breathe. He was taken to an emergency room, then to Mass General, where he was placed on a ventilator and an ECMO life support machine. His improvement began when he was taken off a paralyzing drug to prep him for a procedure. "He literally woke up," his wife said. "And the nurse said 'Squeeze my hand twice,' and he squeezed her hand twice. They saw how alive he was inside." Kim and Jim Belo, a medical malpractice lawyer, are raising money to support the health care workers. They've collected nearly $40,000 for meals and other help. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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