An Ankeny, Iowa, man spent 144 days in the hospital battling COVID-19.It started Nov. 1 with a visit to the doctor. Days later, on Nov. 6, Paul Carpenter passed out at home and was told by his doctor to go to the ER.That led to the lengthy hospital stay. At least 100 days on a ventilator and 40 days on the ECMO, a machine that replaces the function of the heart and lungs.The ECMO machine turned out to be a lifesaver.There were many days his wife, Amy, thought she was going to lose the man she loves.”Every day, every day got worse,” Amy said.Paul was not ready to die.”I couldn’t let my son be without a father,” Paul said. “It was tough but I fought for 144 days.”Paul didn’t fight alone.He has fond feelings and thanks for his care team.”If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here,” Paul said. His physical therapist says she knows how difficult COVID-19 has been for everyone.But it is nice to hear a thank you.”To hear positive things makes it all worth it,” said Megan Thompson, the physical therapist at UnityPoint Health.Paul has gone back to visit a few times since he was released March 30.After almost 5 months in the hospital, he is still fighting every day.Every day he is able to keep fighting he says is owed to his care team.

An Ankeny, Iowa, man spent 144 days in the hospital battling COVID-19.

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It started Nov. 1 with a visit to the doctor. Days later, on Nov. 6, Paul Carpenter passed out at home and was told by his doctor to go to the ER.

That led to the lengthy hospital stay. At least 100 days on a ventilator and 40 days on the ECMO, a machine that replaces the function of the heart and lungs.

The ECMO machine turned out to be a lifesaver.

There were many days his wife, Amy, thought she was going to lose the man she loves.

“Every day, every day got worse,” Amy said.

Paul was not ready to die.

“I couldn’t let my son be without a father,” Paul said. “It was tough but I fought for 144 days.”

Paul didn’t fight alone.

He has fond feelings and thanks for his care team.

“If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here,” Paul said.

His physical therapist says she knows how difficult COVID-19 has been for everyone.

But it is nice to hear a thank you.

“To hear positive things makes it all worth it,” said Megan Thompson, the physical therapist at UnityPoint Health.

Paul has gone back to visit a few times since he was released March 30.

After almost 5 months in the hospital, he is still fighting every day.

Every day he is able to keep fighting he says is owed to his care team.

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