‘She’s my angel’: SC man survives COVID-19 after wife’s voice helps him through coma

Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 1:27 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST
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MAULDIN, S.C. (WYFF) - A South Carolina man who spent more than two months in the hospital with COVID-19 credits his wife’s voice with helping him make it through a coma and into recovery.

Don Gillmer, 43, did his best to stay healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but on July 5, he tested positive for the virus. Four days later came the cough, so he went to the hospital. He wouldn’t leave for the next 63 days.

“I received convalescent plasma twice, Remdesevir. Nothing was working. Nothing was helping me recover, so I’ll really never forget when they came in with papers I needed to sign to go on a ventilator. That scared me,” Don Gillmer said.

Don Gillmer, 43, spent more than two months at a South Carolina hospital after testing positive...
Don Gillmer, 43, spent more than two months at a South Carolina hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. He says his wife, Lacy Gillmer, helped him make it through a coma and his continued recovery.(Source: Family photos, WYFF via CNN)

About a month later, the 43-year-old’s temperature reached 104 degrees, and he was put in a medically induced coma. The doctor called his wife, Lacy Gillmer, and told her he might not make it through the night. She and his father rushed to see him.

“I just told him that he was doing great, that they were taking such good care of him. He was in amazing hands,” Lacy Gillmer said.

Don Gillmer says his wife’s words helped him make it through.

“I swear I heard her, swear I heard her voice, and by the time she left, I was stable. She’s my angel. She’s the reason I’m here,” he said.

But even after he woke up from his coma, Don Gillmer had a long road to recovery, including weeks of physical training as he relearned how to walk. He was finally discharged Sept. 11.

The 43-year-old still has therapy twice a week, saying he wouldn’t get through it without his wife.

“I think about her drive to the hospital the night they told her that I may not make it. You know, can’t imagine that. I tell her often I don’t know that I could have been as strong as her,” he said.

He’s now asking others to take COVID-19 seriously.

“We need to be smart and diligent and take care of each other. It’s about your fellow man,” he said.

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