FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — In January 2022, Franklin Police Officer Sean Finn was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. Looking back a year later, he and his wife Lauren admit they weren’t sure they’d make it to this day.
“I just get lost for words of how to explain it because I’m just so thankful to be here and so thankful for a second chance at life,” Sean said.
Back in 2022, Sean was transferred from Tennessee to a hospital in Florida for an ECMO machine to help him breathe. During the time, the Delta variant was surging around the country, and it was the closest ECMO machine they could find. He was placed in a coma.
Just over a year after his battle against the coronavirus began, on Saturday, Jan. 21, Sean and Lauren sat down for a one-on-one interview with News 2, during which time Sean shared that he was brought back to life multiple times while in the hospital.
“Everybody thinks that I just went down there, had double lung infection, got on ECMO, and was perfectly fine,” Sean explained. “What they don’t know is that somehow my intubation tube got dislodged, and then I also coded again whenever we were doing the ECMO, when they were putting the ECMO in.”
Lauren went back and forth between the states to care for their two daughters, spending four days in Tennessee followed by four days in Florida. She said this process taught her the need to advocate for your loved ones in the hospital, even if you get grim news from staff.
“[I would think] ‘Well, he opened his eyes today, that means something,’ and regardless of people being, like, ‘No, not really, that just means his sedation wore off,’ or whatever, I just held onto those little moments through this whole thing because they led to the big moments,” Lauren recalled.
Even after all this time, Sean still faces struggles. With only 34% lung capacity, he hasn’t returned to work, but he focuses on the little wins.
“I never thought I was gonna be able to let alone walk or hold my girls or pick them up,” Sean said. “I’ve been so fortunate to meet people who prayed for me. I get emotional about it, but I really do believe that that’s what kept me alive: the power of prayer.”
For anyone else going through life’s trials, Sean shares this message:
“I remember laying in bed, being extremely depressed in the hospital, and just know that there are people out there that are fighting for you, that are praying for you, just like they did for me,” he said. “And it means the world to them that you push and you fight.”
Both Sean and Lauren — who has been caring for her husband full-time — have been out of work as Sean recovers from the virus. A GoFundMe has been set up for the Finn family to help them with expenses.