COVID-19 patient struggles to get back to normal despite no longer needing hospital care

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The battle to recover from COVID-19 is a struggle for Mark Hard, now two weeks out of the hospital.

Hard was first diagnosed with the virus on May 4, but a week later he was rushed to a Syracuse hospital because his oxygen levels had dropped so low.

The 57-year old spent a total of 13 days in the hospital, nine of them in the Intensive Care Unit before being moved to a COVID-19 unit.

Hard describes himself before his diagnosis as a healthy man. He is a therapist who met with many of his patients virtually during the pandemic, though he says he did meet with some in-person.

He tells NewsChannel 9 he was careful to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, wash his hands often and wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant after those meetings.

“I don’t know how I got it, don’t know where I got it but I did everything right and I still got it,” he says.

While in the hospital in ICU, Hard was receiving a tremendous amount of oxygen.

His wife Nancy says, “I remember the day they asked our permission if it comes to it, do we have your permission to put him on a ventilator. Well, yes, of course, you have my permission, I want my husband to live.”

Mark Hard did live and recovered to a point where he could be released from the hospital to finish recovering at home.

“Big shoutout to the nurses on the COVID-19 at Crouse unit, they risked their lives every day to save my husband,” wife Nancy tells NewsChannel 9.

Mark Hard is officially out of isolation/quarantine but says it’s still difficult for him to do almost anything outside of the house.

“I feel like I’m in a prison in my own lungs,” he says, and adding, “When am I going to be able to breathe again, that I can walk across the room without having to sit down and catch my breath.”

“The hearts broken, the hearts broken because we have plans, we had plans for the summer,” adds Nancy Hard

And Mark says, “They’ll say, yeah, you’ve recovered from the COVID but the scars that it leaves behind continue on and we don’t know for how long or if I’ll be back to 100 percent ever.”

Once Mark tested positive, his wife Nancy and their two college-aged children now living home with them were placed in a 14-day mandatory quarantine, but they have not shown any effects of the virus.

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