MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Mt. Juliet man has been fighting COVID-19 for nearly 2 months, but now Glenn Harla is finally back home with his family.
The caregivers at TriStar Summit Medical Center held their first COVID-19 discharge celebration, giving Harla a warm send off Tuesday afternoon.
“Day 44 and I’m finally going home,” Harla proclaimed to News 2.
Harla carried an ‘I Crushed COVID’ sign in his hands as he wheeled from the 7th floor to outside the hospital, greeted with dozens of cheers from the hospital staff.
However, it was no easy task for the 66-year-old father. Doctors said his case nearly killed him 3 times.
“I was on a ventilator for three weeks. At one point they contacted my wife to say make funeral arrangements,” Harla explained.
It was one of the many difficult times for Harla’s family during his nearly 2-month stay at the hospital, most of which is a blur to him.
“I do remember flashes of things, you know. I do remember the ventilator in my mouth at points.”
He especially recalls reaching out to a higher power for help.
“I’m not a religious man, but I do remember in a dream asking for God to save to, I want to live and I think I snapped out of it. After I snapped out, I had motivation and i just took off after that and the doctors and nurses couldn’t believe how fast I recovered,” he said.
Harla credits God’s hand and plasma antibodies for turning his condition around.
“That plasma, I felt like a million bucks after I got that.”
Harla gained his strength to begin rehab just over a week ago and he can walk again. He has also tested negative for the virus twice.
He says the staff at TriStar are now family.
“The staff, of course, saved my life. I can’t say enough, they’ve been so good to me. I’m at a loss for words because I wish I could hug them all, but I know in these times you know we just do the best we can.”
Those hugs will, however, be shared with his wife, daughter and 2 dogs that he hasn’t seen in more than a month. Harla said he now realizes that he has all he needs and is retiring.
“I want to enjoy life you know the simple things.”
Harla’s wife also survived a much milder case of COVID-19.
Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.
High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.