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‘I want to reunite with them:’ Man wants to thank VCU medical team after 114 days in hospital with COVID-19

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 3:28 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond man hopes to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical center. Freddy Sexton Jr. spent months there with COVID-19 but continues to recover and get stronger.

He says there is so much he doesn’t remember from his time in the hospital. Sexton, wife and daughter were all diagnosed with COVID-19 last May. He was not vaccinated at the time. What started as shortness of breath was almost fatal. He was eventually intubated, with doctors fearing he would not survive.

“I was in a coma for a month and a half. The prognosis was they were letting my family know I wasn’t going to make it. Wednesday morning, God blessed me, and I woke up,” said Sexton Jr. “I thank [VCU] doctors and nurses for my recovery. I had to start all over. I was like a baby.”

He was eventually transferred to Henrico Doctors for rehabilitation. Sexton Jr. had to relearn to walk and talk, going through physical, speech and occupational therapy.

A Richmond man is hoping to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical...
A Richmond man is hoping to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical center. Freddy Sexton Jr. spent months there with COVID-19, but continues to recover and get stronger.(NBC 12)

“My youngest son [Joshua], he was living in Maryland, came back home, lost his job to take care of us; he was instrumental,” he explained. “You know, people take everyday things for granted, the walking, talking, the breathing, just being alive. It has been a challenge.”

Sexton Jr. has several pre-existing conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes. He says he feels blessed to be still alive today. He wants to thank the people who contributed to his survival.

A Richmond man is hoping to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical...
A Richmond man is hoping to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical center. Freddy Sexton Jr. spent months there with COVID-19, but continues to recover and get stronger.(NBC 12)

“I remember faces here and there, but names I am not that good. I just want to reunite with them and thank them personally and give them a nice hug or elbow bump,” Sexton Jr. explained.

As he continues to go to doctor’s appointments at VCU Medical Center, Sexton Jr. has not been able to go back to the critical care unit as COVID-19 protocols remain.

“I did try to go one day. I had a doctor’s appointment, but because of restrictions, I couldn’t go back there. So, that is why I called you guys,” he said. ”I feel stronger than I was before. I am able to go out and do things.”

The hope is that those who helped care for him will see how far he has come. Sexton Jr. says he is now fully vaccinated and encourages the community to take care of themselves while also looking out for each other.

“There’s a lot of good folks [who] caught COVID [are] gone away from here. I am one of the fortunate ones, got a lot of people still fighting,” said Sexton Jr. “For those who have chronic disease, like I have kidney disease, I am diabetic, take care of yourself, protect yourself.”

The On Your Side Investigators reached out to VCU Medical on Sexton Jr.’s behalf. A team is now working to reunite him with his care team.

“[To the doctors and nurses] keep up the good work. You are well appreciated. I know it is a tough job they have to deal with it; hearts of gold to take care of someone in my condition,” he said.

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