A Reminder to be Thankful This Thanksgiving comes easy for Mark Lively - after his COVID Journey and Recovery at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford

Nov 23, 2021 at 07:12 am by WGNS


UPDATED Reminder to Give Thanks This Thanksgiving - Click the above photo of former patient Mark Lively for more pictures - In the spirit of Thanksgiving, former Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford patient Mark Lively is having one of the best weeks to give thanks – and that is because of the help he received by hospital staff, doctors and nurses at the local medical facility.

On Monday, November 22nd, Mr. Lively returned to the hospital. The difference upon his return is that he was able to walk and properly breath again. During his return visit, Lively told WGNS NEWS…


On Monday, November 22nd, Mark presented his healthcare heroes with the Foundation's Guardian Angel Award.

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.

Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital's President and CEO Gordon Ferguson noted…

After his initial stay at the hospital, followed by weeks in rehab, Mark and his wife Cheryl celebrated his return home on June 18th. Mark has returned to work and is enjoying life, though he continues to visit his pulmonologist regularly.

Scroll down for more on this story and complete interviews...




"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."

Hear the Complete WGNS Interviews Below (Note - these will air on the Tuesday morning WGNS Action Line at 8: 

Murfreesboro's Mark Lively said THANKSGIVING will be even more special this year (3min and 53sec).


WGNS spoke with Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital's President and CEO Gordon Ferguson (1min and 37sec)...

 Listen to WGNS "LIVE" and online by clicking the below link: 



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