You don’t want to get COVID-19.

Take it from a man who knows.

ope体育Danny Lemos returned to his Grand Island home Sunday after a successful battle with the coronavirus.

Lemos, 39, was taken by helicopter April 15 to Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. During his battle with COVID-19, the hospital told his ex-wife that he had a 20 percent chance of survival. He is now on a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and is anxious to get back to work.

“It was quite the adventure, I can tell you that,” he said.

During the experience, Lemos was unconscious for four days. He doesn’t even remember the helicopter flight.

ope体育The worst he felt was April 9, the day he went to the emergency room at CHI Health St. Francis.

“I was really having trouble breathing,“ he said. Other than that, the only symptom he had was a “just a very slight temperature.”

People need to take COVID-19 more seriously, Lemos said. At first, young people thought they were immune from the illness. That turned out to be incorrect.

People think they understand the virus, but it’s probably something bigger than we realize.

“It’s something new. And it’s going to take time before we get it figured out,” Lemos said.

On Sunday, as he rounded third and headed for home, Lemos noticed that Grand Island stores were packed and “the people are still everywhere.”

ope体育People have got to live, and they still have to do things.

ope体育“I get that,” he said.

But in Grand Island, the number of people infected with the virus is rising at an astronomical rate, he said.

“It’s just absolutely ludicrous,” he said of the increase. “And I don’t know what it’s going to take for this town to realize that they have to quit going out. People need to stay home and stay inside and get this under control.”

His ex-wife, Samantha Bluhm, wrote on Facebook on April 16 that Lemos was staying strong and fighting hard.

ope体育“Please keep the prayers coming,” she wrote.

The dates are still blurry to Lemos. He left the intensive care unit at Nebraska Medicine last Wednesday or Thursday. After that, he was moved to a standard room.

At Nebraska Medicine, Lemos was given a trial drug called remdesivir.

Within the next day or two, he had shown rapid improvement.

ope体育He was able to talk to his family on the phone.

ope体育“I wasn’t real stable, but I could get up and walk,” he said.

His dramatic rebound “was the nuttiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.

ope体育People at Nebraska Medicine were filled with “shock and awe” at the speed of his turnaround, he said. The change was as quick as the click of a light switch, he said.

He doesn’t know how big a role the experimental drug played in his recovery.

ope体育But the drug “obviously had to have something to do with it.”

One night, Lemos pulled out both the ventilator tube running into his mouth and his IV attachment.

His nurse told him he’s good at being believable. “You had me pretty convinced that you were going to behave yourself,” she said.

She thought she had his arms strapped down pretty tight. “But apparently not tight enough,” she said.

He was given a high oxygen flow. But he never did go onto ECMO, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. That system provides respiratory support.

A lot of people were praying for Lemos. “I need it. I’m very thankful for where I’m at. “

Nebraska Medicine “did an amazing job with me,” he said.

ope体育Lemos’ father, who is 62, still has COVID-19. He is at CHI Health St. Elizabeth in Lincoln, where he’s improving.

His ventilator is off. He is “up and eating and talking,” his son said. “I was praying big-time for him, too, just because he’s older and he has COPD. I was really, really, really worried about him.”

ope体育Lemos is the father of four kids, who are 8 to 18.

Lemos does not work at JBS. But he is “99.99 percent sure” his COVID-19 came from JBS, where his father works.


PHOTO GALLERY: Coronavirus in Nebraska

Reporter

I am the Cops & Courts Reporter for the Grand Island Independent. I welcome news tips!

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