Donnell Hunter is what is called a force of nature. In September 2020, this 43-year-old American living in Roswell, New Mexico, entered a very long tunnel… It was in the gas supply company where he worked that he began to feel wrong. Dropped off at the hospital by his boss, he immediately tested positive for Covid-19. Nevertheless sent home, he quickly finds that his condition does not improve. After twenty-four, he can no longer breathe and goes back to the emergency room.
“I thought I could overcome the disease alone, but it became more and more complicated. I was forced to recognize that I had to be taken care of”, explained on CNN, this father of seven children aged from 27 at 4 years old. A good reflex because, barely a few hours later, Donnell was transferred to a hospital in Albuquerque, a three-hour drive away. After a week, he was placed on an artificial respirator. “It was so traumatic to see him intubated…, breathes Ashley, his companion. I told our children that it was normal to cry. Not because he was bad, but because he was missing.”
“I had lost the use of hands, arms and legs”
This energetic mom had to take it upon herself to lead this fight. “We have lost family members and many friends to the pandemic. […] My grandmother passed away and because Donnell couldn’t support me, I had to keep my emotions quiet.” It took a year for his companion to do without the artificial respirator. And he had to learn to live normally again. “I had lost the use of my hands, my arms and my legs and I did a lot of rehabilitation, he told KOB News. I had to relearn how to eat and even how to swallow. I had to relearn everything in fact!”
On returning home, he was able to meet his grandson… already 1 year old
It took almost two years and stints in nine hospitals and long-term care facilities for this dad to return home. Already exceptional, this day was marked by his meeting with his 1-year-old grandson. “When he saw me, he seemed to recognize me immediately. He fell into my arms and kissed me. It was magical,” explained the grandfather to the angels. However, Donnell is not completely out of the woods. He needs an artificial respirator at night and, during the day, never separates from his oxygen bottle.
Donnell is also unable to walk on his own and Ashley, who lost her job during the pandemic, has to care for him and rack her brains over how to pay hospital bills. But this is not the most important for the couple. “You can never know the future, but I’m so happy to be home! I love my wife and children more than anything and now I’m going to fight for them,” he says, determined. to take this chance to start a new life after going through hell!
Donnell © DOC KOB 4