ARVADA — Doug Summerfield knows how lucky he his.
COVID-19 IN COLORADO
The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:
- LIVE BLOG: The latest on closures, restrictions and other major updates.
- MAP: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
- TESTING: Here’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
- STORY: Colorado schools add saliva testing to slow spread of coronavirus in the classroom
The 75-year-old Arvada man knows that someone his age, with his asthma, is the kind of patient experts say probably wouldn’t make it through a case of the new coronavirus that was as bad as his.
But on Saturday, Summerfield returned to his home with a view of the foothills for the first time since being taken by ambulance to Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge on March 29. At the hospital, he was immediately intubated and placed on a ventilator and remained on the machine for about a month.
“It sure feels good to breathe fresh air,” Summerfield said as he sat in a wheelchair, surrounded by family and friends who gathered to celebrate his return.
The Arvada Fire Protection District sent a firetruck and an ambulance — the one, Summerfield’s wife says, that actually transported her husband to the hospital — to join in on the good news.
Dr. Joel Strohecker, who cared for Summerfield, called his patient’s recovery “amazing.”
Summerfield, who doesn’t remember much from the days before he fell ill or anything from his time in the hospital, also doesn’t know how he caught the virus. His wife, Mary, never became sick.
“I guess I’m pretty lucky, from what the news says,” Summerfield said. “A lot of people haven’t made it. Considering my age, everybody tells me that I shouldn’t have made it.”
Mary Summerfield said she tried to stay positive that one day her husband would come home, but at the same time “had to be a little bit realistic.”
Standing next to Doug on Saturday, her joy was palpable.
“It’s exciting to watch him get stronger every day,” she said.