La. COVID-19 survivor still recovering after months in hospital

Husband and wife hold hands
Husband and wife hold hands(WAFB)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 11:43 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Behind the COVID-19 numbers released every day by the Louisiana Department of Health are people like Bruce Jenny.

When you’re looking at those numbers, it’s easy to just see numbers. But there are real people, like Bruce Jenny, behind those statistics.

He was one of the many COVID-19 patients in the hospital and on a mechanical ventilator. Jenny battled the virus for more than four months until he was released.

“Almost literally the last thing I remember was going away in the ambulance and seeing my younger son and daughter standing out in the street out the back of the ambulance window,” he says.

He had to move out of his new house before he and his wife finished moving in. “Very scary,” his wife, Kathy Jenny, explains.

Bruce was sent to the hospital after he contracted the virus from his wife.

“We were planning on moving into this house so she had gone out to get some containers and stuff, she might’ve gotten it there but where she got it, we don’t know,” he explains.

Kathy says she did everything health experts ask you to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She masked up, practiced social distancing, and even quarantined herself when she tested positive and left Bruce in the new house by himself.

She says she knew he was a high-risk patient and if he was exposed it wouldn’t be pretty, “and it wasn’t, and it was my worst nightmare that he did get it,” Kathy said.

“And it wasn’t, and it was my worst nightmare that he did get it,” Kathy explains.

“It hit me quick. It wasn’t something that built up, it hit me like a ton of rocks,” Bruce said. He spent the next two months in the intensive care units of both Baton Rouge General and Our Lady of the Lake.

“When I was in the hospital and in the worst of it, I hallucinated. I knew I was in a room and it had glass doors and I was right next to the ICU they’d tell me I’d look out those glass doors and I’d see the nurse’s station. Other times I’d might see an ice cream parlor, I might think I was in somebody’s house,” Bruce said.

“It’s hard to sit and wait to hear from a doctor who may call you at four o’clock or they’ll call you in the middle of the night and your heart races and you say oh my goodness, is this going to be it?” Kathy said.

Bruce’s ventilator was eventually turned off. He went to rehab for a couple of months and worked to regain his strength. He was finally able to go home Friday, Dec. 4.

“I’m thankful to be here. I’m very thankful. I told someone I guess I’m here by the grace of God,” he says.

However, Bruce’s work isn’t over. He is still in a wheelchair and has small exercises he has to do every day. Although, he can see the light is at the end of the tunnel and his fight is nearly won.

He and his wife are finally in their new home.

“This is home and we’re here together,” she said.

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