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Jim's Homecoming

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Covid lost this battle!! After 3 months in the hospital, a bi-pap, a ventilator/medically-induced coma, a tracheotomy, a 70-lb weight loss and physical therapy -- It's time for some good news!! We need a good Homecoming Story! Read about Jim Gilmartin's fight for his life -- his release just 2 days before his birthday -- and join our Homecoming Celebration Team in helping this family with medical expenses and lost wages.  #WelcomeHomeJim #Give19 #ShareWithThree #TwoDaysBeforeHisBirthday #WeLoveHomecomings On March 27, 2020, Jim Gilmartin went to the hospital after he could no longer fight the Corona virus safely from home. At the same time, his wife Christine was also fighting the virus. Although very sick, Christine was able to continuing recovering at home for several more weeks. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Jim was placed on a bi-pap to help him breathe. Jim would make progress some days, then slip back, lose ground, and become still more dependent on the bi-pap machine. After time, it became clear that a bi-pap was no longer sufficient treatment. Jim was placed on a ventilator and put into a medically-induced coma. Jim had officially joined a group of patients across the world whose statistical outcomes made no promises of comfort to family members. Jim would experience moments of progress and hope would rise; other days hope was a mental choice his loved ones made in faith alone. Jim continued to grow weaker. The ventilator was operating too close to maximum and nights brought on some of Jim's greatest fights for oxygen. While no one would say it, he was losing the battle. The hospital staff re-tested Jim for Covid, in hopes that a negative test would allow them to operate and put him on a tracheotomy. Maybe a tracheotomy would be enough to aid his breathing and keep him alive.

But the test came back positive for Covid 19. Jim was not a candidate for a tracheotomy. The surgical staff met and each individual decided to take on the personal risk of operating on Jim. They chose to risk their lives in hopes that they might save his. The surgery was a success. The tracheotomy was complete. The medical staff slowly began to reduce Jim's medications. After nearly 2 1/2 months in Intensive Care, they were able to place Jim in a step down unit.  After 2 months, his wife Christine was allowed to visit him. Perhaps they bent the rules. Perhaps they thought it was the right thing to do, in case he didn't make it home. Whatever the reason, she was able to see him for a couple days before the rules changed and she was no longer allowed in. She sat, shocked, outside the hospital in her car, hoping it was a mistake; waiting to be let in. This was a very difficult privilege to lose. But those precious visits were enough to encourage Jim to continue fighting. Jim began to make progress on the tracheotomy. His oxygen numbers began to improve. The meds were cut back more. His breathing improved. The cycle continued until finally, the tracheotomy was removed. It was incredible news for all who had been treating, hoping and praying for Jim. Jim had lost 70 lbs. Now, it was time to begin the process of eating again. A nurse sat patiently and spooned juice into Jim's mouth. Much to her surprise, Jim raised his arm, reached for the cup and took a drink. These victory-stories had family members dancing, crying and cheering from home. Who knew drinking juice could be better than watching Rocky fist-pump at the top of those iconic stairs? The hospital began in-house physical therapy. The staff frequently remarked on Jim's strength and fortitude. Their commitment to saving him never wavered.  Jim was no longer in isolation to keep others from getting sick. He was now in isolation to keep him alive, so weakened was his immune system after 3 months of Covid. Simply standing for a second or two was a huge accomplishment. One day, unrelenting, Jim worked for 2 hours to take 7 steps.  Back home, Chris was fighting too. She was an incredible patient advocate and a strong, faithful, loving wife. The medical staff cared for him as if he was family, spending hours at a time with him so the isolation wouldn't break him. Friends and friends-of-friends prayed, and prayed. And prayed. Jim has slowly recovered and after three months in the hospital, he will be coming home to his family on June 25th, just two days before his birthday. The doctor said, "It's a miracle." All who have watched up close agree. We continue to thank God. It is uncertain how long Jim's recovery will take and to what extent he will regain strength. We do know that this incredibly hard-working man is going to have to learn to rest for awhile. That is not a natural response for Jim.   We would like to help Jim and Christine as they walk through this Homecoming season. We know that some crazy hospital bills will start coming and we would like to ease this burden on them. If this is something you are able to join us in, we welcome your support and are most grateful!! Here are Three ways you can help: 1) If you are able, donate $19 (or more). If 1,000 people donate 19 to fight back at Covid, we'll reach our goal 2) Share this with 3 people you know who might also be willing to take action, give and share 3) Continue to pray for Jim and his family. His Homecoming is a miracle! Thank you for reading and sharing the story of Jim's Covid battle and the beginning of his Homecoming Story!

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