Family welcomes COVID-19 patient home after 'miraculous' recovery

Posted at 8:20 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 23:22:39-04

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After spending 40 days in the hospital battling COVID-19, a Hendersonville man was able to return home on Friday.

Jud Byler, 64, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March. Five days after being admitted to the hospital, doctors put Byler on ventilator. Byler was high risk because of his age and because he has asthma.

"The nurses at that point didn’t think he would survive," Jud's daughter, Liz Byler Shea, said. "They told me that they were crying because they were really concerned that he would not turn around."

But Liz Byler Shea said her father started making slow progress, eventually pulling the ventilator out himself.

"The doctors called and they were a little upset with him, but also excited because that means they've turned a corner," she said with a smile. "We truly believe that he is a walking miracle, and his doctors call him Lazarus, which in the Bible, Lazarus is brought back to life."

On Friday, Byler's family and friends welcomed him back to his Hendersonville home.

"For him to have survived this is miraculous, we are calling this a miracle," Liz Byler Shea said.

Byler still has a long road to a full recovery and is struggling with blood clots and bed sores, but family members are optimistic that being able to be home will speed up that process.