May 4, 2020 at 4:34 AM EDT – Updated May 4 at 4:34 AM
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CNN) – A Tennessee woman and her family are celebrating the recovery of their father and grandfather from COVID-19, calling it a “miracle.”
Jud Byler, 64, returned home Friday to brightly colored decorations surrounding his Hendersonville, Tennessee, driveway. His daughter, Liz Byler Shea, his grandchildren and neighbors welcomed him with air hugs after a 40-day stay at Sumner County Regional Medical Center.
Byler was one of the first people in the county diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March. He was considered high risk because of his age and because he has asthma.
Five days after he was admitted to the hospital, doctors put Byler on a ventilator.
“The nurses, at that point, didn’t think he would survive,” Shea said. “They told me that they were crying because they were really concerned that he would not turn around.”
But Shea says her father started making slow progress, eventually pulling the ventilator out himself.
“For him to have survived this is miraculous. We are calling this a miracle,” Shea said.
Byler says he’s happy to be home, but he still has a long road to recovery. Family members are optimistic that being home again will speed up his healing, as he continues to struggle with blood clots and bed sores.
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