OTTAWA — An Ottawa man who was admitted to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center on Oct. 29 with COVID-19 was dismissed from the hospital on Friday.
Charles Newland who spent the holidays alone on a ventilator was relieved to finally head home to Ottawa.
“I’d never been sick. Never been to the hospital,” Newland said. “So, people who don’t think it will get ahold of them better think again. You know, to wear a mask is a cheap price to pay to keep from getting that.”
Newland was put on a ventilator three days after he was admitted to St. Rita’s and stayed on a ventilator until Dec. 6.
His wife, Janet, wasn’t able to visit him for quite a while.
“From October 29 when he went in until December 6, I didn’t see him. I talked to him because they told me that if you talk to him that he can hear your voice but he couldn’t answer. So it was hard. I did some crying but we got through it,” Janet Newland said.
At one point, Charles Newland said he “flatlined” while in the hospital.
“That’s what the nurses said. All I know is what she told me,” Charles Newland said.
After he got off the ventilator, he had to undergo hours of rehab.
“I had to learn how to walk and get up and everything. I couldn’t do nothing,” Charles Newland said.
He could barely talk.
“They thought they damaged my vocal cords when they put the trach (tube) in,” Charles Newland said. “Just before I left they ran a camera to look at my vocal cords. They said my vocal cords are swollen but didn’t see any damage.”
Charles Newland doesn’t remember very much when he was on a ventilator.
“It just seems weird when you get out — how much time passed you by and how many things have changed,” Charles Newland said.
He did keep up with some things like the election of Joe Biden as president.
“Yeah, I knew he got elected. I tried to keep up with some of that stuff because I tried to keep the date straight. But it was hard,” Charles Newland said.
Keeping the date straight in his mind was part of his therapy.
“I try to look at the newspapers, stuff like that to make sure I knew the date,” Charles Newland said.
Charles Newland says he hasn’t got the hospital bill yet but did need some expensive medicines to help in his rehabilitation.
“They sent me home with medications that cost me $1,000 right out of my pocket off the bat. I know a lot of people don’t have that money,” Charles Newland said. “If you don’t do it that way, you will end up back in the hospital.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.