KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – Marc McGee joined St. Luke’s Hospital on the plaza January 3rd. When he was brought there from a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, doctors weren’t sure if he would survive the three-hour ambulance ride.
But now he is on the way to recovery. His story is about hope, not tragedy.
“It’s going to be a long, hard road, but as long as I have it we can do anything,” said Michelle McGee, Marc’s wife.
Marc got sick for the first time on Christmas Eve. His family thought it was just another cold. Michelle bought a pulse oximeter as a precaution and checked it every few hours.
When his level dropped below 80 on December 30th, Michelle drove Marc to an emergency room in Springfield.
“It got worse and worse every day,” she said.
It wasn’t long before Marc and Michelle had to discuss whether they felt comfortable with Marc being put on a ventilator.
“I thought you had to give them every chance you have. A chance to fight. Marc isn’t very sentimental at all, but he said, “Tell everyone I love her,” and that was the last time I heard his voice for a while, “said Michelle.
At 3 a.m. on January 3rd, Michelle received a call from doctors. They had to move Marc to Saint Luke’s, Kansas City, where the next available ECMO machine was. It was his only hope of survival.
“And so I followed the ambulance all the way out of here because if he died on the side of the road I didn’t want him to be alone,” she said.
In short, he survived.
Michelle and Marc have two grown daughters and a two year old son.
The family visited her by looking through Marc’s window on the first floor of the hospital. They also placed signs on the lawn outside that said, “Thank you for looking after our father.”
It was an emotional roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Marc’s heart even stopped once for a full minute, but the medical staff were able to bring him back.
More than 50 days since Marc’s COVID-19 battle began, it’s far from over.
“It was hard for everyone,” said Michelle. “Since Marc woke up, I’ve been away from my children. I was here 8 to 8 every day. I basically go to the hotel and sleep and do it all over again because he needs me. But in the meantime, I’ve had to leave my children behind and it’s hard. “
Marc had diabetes and high blood pressure as pre-existing conditions, but fighting the virus has added kidney problems, loss of muscle mass, and weak lungs to his list of health problems.
This week Marc is being admitted to an acute care facility in Springfield to complete his recovery.
It’s a long-awaited step forward, but sweetly, St. Luke’s and the staff Michelle says leaving have become family.
“To the St. Luke staff here – the doctors, the nurses, the housekeepers, everyone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because without you, I probably wouldn’t have my husband. And I can’t thank you enough, ”said Michelle.
Michelle hopes her mother’s story gives hope to those still battling COVID-19.
“Do not give up. And just keep your faith. I think my belief is one of the things that got me through all of this. And love, of course. I love this man with all my heart, ”she said.
Marc and Michelle have been together since they were 21 and 16 years old. After 26 years of marriage, they have come together for better or for worse, both in illness and health.
Michelle updates Marc’s trip daily on a GoFundMe page. A friend set it up for her to help out with the expenses. Marc was an Uber and Lyft driver, and as a contractor, he didn’t get sick leave or any benefits.
He’s covered by Michelle’s insurance, but the 2020 and 2021 deductibles and travel and hotel expenses for Michelle who is with him in Kansas City have all added up. The family is financially stressed. But they know they’ll be fine as long as they have each other.
“We’re just so blessed,” she said.
KCTV5.com is on the go with you now! Get the latest news updates and videos, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigation reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News.
>> Click / tap here to download our free mobile app.
Copyright 2021 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.