The Fight for Survival was Real for One Murfreesboro Man with COVID, Equaling the Best Thanksgiving to Come

Nov 19, 2021 at 07:49 am by WGNS

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Click the above photo for more pictures - In the spirit of Thanksgiving, former Ascension Saint Thomas Rutheford patient Mark Lively is returning to the hospital on Monday, November 22, at 9 AM to show gratitude to his personal healthcare heroes.

Mark tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2021, just before vaccines became available for his age group. Despite being a healthy eater and regular gym-goer, Mark experienced a rapid decline. He would ultimately spend time on a ventilator, develop a hole in his right lung that required surgical repair, and even experience a small stroke during the 2 months he stayed at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. Mark lost 54 pounds during his battle with COVID-19 and, when he was released from the hospital for in-patient rehabilitation, he was so weak that standing for even 20 seconds was a huge accomplishment. After weeks in rehab, Mark and his wife Cheryl celebrated his return home on June 18. Mark has returned to work and is enjoying life, though he continues to visit his pulmonologist regularly.

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"After surgery on my right lung, Dr. Ward Houck called me Lazarus in reference to the Biblical man who was raised from the dead," reflects Mark in awe. This fall, Mark and Cheryl celebrated his 62nd birthday. Considering the near-death ordeal the couple experienced, Mark's birthday this year "meant everything."

Mark recently approached the Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation and asked how he could personally thank his caregivers. On Monday, November 22, at 9 AM, Mark will present his healthcare heroes with the Foundation's Guardian Angel Award.

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