Army veteran fought COVID-19 for two months and won

Julia LeDoux
July 14, 2020 - 8:06 am

Department of Veterans Affairs

Army veteran Ollie Hendricks fought hard to defeat COVID-19 and won the battle after a two-month fight against the disease.

Hendricks was discharged from the Durham VA Health Care System in North Carolina on June 26 infection-free and ready to see his family and friends, according to WWAY.

“Everybody that helped me, I want to tell you, I love you,” he said in a VA release. 

VA staffers lined up to cheer as Hendricks left the hospital, the News & Observer reported.

 The 58-year-old's symptoms began with a body ache, which led him to call out sick from work. That quickly turned into chills and a fever.

“I work in food services and some of my coworkers got sick,” Hendricks explained in the VA release. “I had that bad feeling, so I went to the hospital and told them that I thought I had corona. They took my temperature and confirmed it.” 

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Hendricks was placed on a supplemental oxygen machine and was transferred to Duke University Hospital for treatments during his fight against the virus. 

“This [was] serious,” he said. “I know it, I was staring death in the face.”

Hendricks’ muscles atrophied while he was at Duke University Hospital because he was unable to get out of bed for a month. After the worst parts of the virus had passed, he transferred back to the DVAHCS, where he began his six-week recovery period.

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Hendricks’ rehabilitation included weightlifting, plus some balance and strength exercises. He gave it his all and cut his recovery time to just three weeks.

“Mr. Hendricks came to us exceptionally motivated,” said Dr. Jack Twersky, medical director of the DVAHCS CLC. “No matter how uncomfortable he felt throughout his rehabilitation, he did everything we asked him to. We facilitated his recovery, but Mr. Hendricks’ recovery is largely due to his efforts.”

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