MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) – Ken Carden was one of Wilson County’s first cases of COVID-19. He spent 105 days in the hospital where, during most of his stay, he was under sedation and placed on a ventilator.
On July 6, the 64-year-old pastor was finally released. Neighbors lined the streets of his family’s Mt. Juliet subdivision to welcome him. Many of them had never met Carden personally but followed his journey on Facebook.
“It was very touching, very humbling for our neighborhood to show that kind of support,” Carden said, “I appreciated it so much.”
After having the test, Carden said his condition escalated quickly and he became incoherent.
Jenny Yelen said her father had no underlying health conditions and leaving him at the hospital was incredibly difficult. “It was kind of a very surreal experience, having to drop your loved one off, they take him back, and then we had to go back to our car and wait.”
Carden said he realizes people who are not personally affected may struggle to understand how destructive the virus may be. COVID-19 changed his life forever.
“I lost a leg below the knee, I lost the toes on my other foot. I’ll be dealing with it for the rest of my life because of the coronavirus and blood clots that were formed because of it,” Carden said.
Family said the support is overwhelming and the road to recovery remains long. They hoped Ken Carden’s story would encourage just one more person to think of someone else.
“I’ve seen so much that feels very self-centered surrounding this. To me, that just feels very unfortunate,” Yelen said. “I know we have rights and we have freedom here, but it makes me sad to see people not be considerate of other people.”
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )