Man released after 45 days in the hospital

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – A Rutherford County man is on the mend after fighting for his life for a month and a half. After his heart monitor flatlined five times, Joe Gammon is now in a rehab facility where he will stay until he gets stronger.

“I’m in some ways still in disbelief that I’ve been able to pull through,” Gammon said. He has been fighting for his life for about 45 days. Even though Gammon is ready to be reunited with his family, he says he feels lucky to be alive. “I feel extremely blessed to have a second chance.”

Gammon’s entire family got sick with COVID, but the virus hit him the hardest.

“I don’t even remember what exactly happened. The last thing I remember is making my wife a bowl of soup and just to try to nurse her back to health and apparently my oxygen had gotten extremely low,” Gammon said. By the end of August he woke up in Ascension St. Thomas Hospital West where he found out he was in a coma. He credits the hospital’s medical staff for his survival.

“The majority of the people who are as sick as he was don’t survive,” ICU Physician Dr. Brett Campbell said. Dr. Brett Campbell helped treat Joe Gammon during his time at Ascension St. Thomas Hospital West. “Joe’s course was very complicated. He had multiple arrests while he was here. The people who survive that kind of insult there have not been many.”

Gammon said he wishes he would have considered getting vaccinated before getting so sick. “I wish I would have taken the time to meet with my primary care physician and at least had that conversation,” Gammon said.

Dr. Campbell said 65 people died of COVID at Ascension St. Thomas Hospital West between August 1st and September 22nd.

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