RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WSAV) – A Richmond Hill man beat the odds after spending 94 days in the hospital battling COVID-19.
Brian Grant is resting at home now with his family, but doctors say his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.
When he first got sick back in February, he felt fine for a few days. But when things took a turn, he went to Candler Hospital and received monoclonal antibody treatment.
“I barely met criteria,” said Brian Grant.
After a few days of treatment and struggling to breathe, he went back to the hospital. They sent him home with an oxygen machine.
Heather Grant, his husband, says he was up gasping for air and trying to break a fever.
“When his stats started dropping, I said, ‘We need to take you to the hospital,'” said Heather Grant.
Brian Grant didn’t think he would make it on his own, so he was transported via ambulance.
“At that point I was very scared,” he said.
Things quickly went from bad to worse, and at first, his wife wasn’t even able to visit him.
“I said, ‘What is going on?’ And he said, ‘We need permission to intubate your husband. He can’t breathe.’ And I just lost it,” said Heather Grant.
Brian Grant was eventually put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a form of life support.
After that, his wife was finally able to visit him in the hospital.
“I would lean down and I would touch his hand, ’cause I just wanted to feel his skin,” said Heather Grant. “And I would just sit there and pray, and the nurses were kind and just let me do that.”
Soon, she wasn’t the only one praying for her husband. A Facebook group dedicated to his recovery gained over 700 members.
Heather Grant has kept each and every one of them updated along the way.
“All the friends, all the family, even the people I don’t know, has meant the world to me,” said Brian Grant.
He is one of only two COVID-19 patients in the entire St. Joseph’s/Candler hospital system to make it off of ECMO.
“I walked in and they said, ‘Do you notice something missing?’ And he was off ECMO,” Heather Grant recalled.
“It was the very next day and I, of course, lost it, and I said I probably hugged way too many people that didn’t want to be hugged,” she continued. “But in that moment, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Even though the 47-year-old had a whole medical team behind him, Dr. Marc Bailey at St. Joseph’s/Candler says Brian Grant’s recovery is “just testimony to his strength.”
“He went through a lot,” Bailey added, “and did very well.”
Heather Grant says her husband’s care team became more like family.
“I was writing down all these things that I so appreciated, and it wasn’t until I was reading it to Brian in the hospital and it hit,” she said. “They were all things out of the job description.”
When Brian Grant was finally discharged, he was rolled out with hugs and a big celebration
In her weaker moment, Heather Grant grappled with the thought of life as a single mother. But she says all she could do was put her faith in God.
“I wondered how I would reconcile that,” she said. “And I still have to say I struggle with that, a little bit of the what-ifs because right now, I’m on the side of it — he’s here.”
She got the ending she hoped for, rather than the one she feared, and her husband got a warm welcome home from two tail-wagging dogs and his kids, Charlie and Clara.
“What’s the best thing about having your dad back?” WSAV News 3 asked Clara Grant.
“That it’s actually like normal again, with all four of us in the house,” she said. “But it’s still a little hard to get used to him on a walker.”
Brian Grant will need a few more weeks of physical therapy before he can get back to work building homes.
In the meantime, he says he’ll be spending a little more time in his favorite chair, thanking God for giving him another chance and the Richmond Hill community for their support.
He’s hoping to be back walking on his own in a few weeks.