Family recalls extreme isolation of DeSoto man’s 65-day, life-or-death battle with COVID-19

“He’s up there, all alone, fighting for his life with no family, no contact. ... It was really scary”

Family recalls extreme isolation of man's 65-day, life-or-death battle with COVID-19

MANSFIELD, La. (KSLA) — A DeSoto Parish man is back at home with his family after spending more than two months in the hospital battling COVID-19.

Raymond Drain said his fight started with a bad cough in March. As he continued to get worse his wife, Roshunda, decided to take him to the hospital.

He called to tell her he was being admitted.

By the time she got back to their home in Mansfield, doctors had called to tell her he had taken a turn for the worse and had been placed on a ventilator.

DeSoto Parish man back home after 65 days in hospital with COVID-19

For the next several weeks, Raymond battled for his life, staying sedated for more than 30 days, at first on a ventilator.

Then Roshunda said her husband’s doctor said he would have to go on an ECMO machine. “'If we don’t, he’s not going to make it,' the doctor told me.

“He said even if we do, there is still a chance he won’t make it; and more likely than not, he will not make it," Roshunda continued.

She recalled the isolation.

"He’s up there, all alone, fighting for his life with no family, no contact. You couldn’t be there to let him know you were in his corner. It was really scary.”

Thankfully, Raymond did get better. And after 65 days in the hospital, he was able to return home.

Roshunda said it was emotional hugging her husband for the first time in months.

“Just thankful I was able to be able to hug him again," Roshunda said. "I cried all the way home, all that day.

"Sometimes I look at him and I still cry thinking about all he has been through and what God has brought him through.”

Raymond said that he doesn’t remember much from his time in the hospital but that he’ll always remember coming home to see his work family celebrating his return to Mansfield.

“I saw all the cars. And as we came down the road and I saw the signs," he recalled.

“It was emotional. It was really emotional. I couldn’t believe it. At one point, I thought nobody cared. But they really surprised me.”

Both agree that his time in the hospital was extremely isolating for both of them. They had to celebrate Roshunda’s birthday and their anniversary over the phone.

“It was like a roller coaster of emotions," Roshunda said. "I would wake up, call the hospital and cry.”

Raymond still is recovering. He’s had to relearn how to walk and how to swallow.

But he and his wife both say they are thankful to their community and to the healthcare professionals at Willis-Knighton for taking care of him.

“The only thing I can just say over and over is I thank God I’m still here," Raymond said. "I was in a life-or-death situation, and I almost didn’t make it.

"But I did.”

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