GROVE CITY, OHIO (WCMH) — After an unimaginably tough six weeks, a Grove City couple is finally home together. In late March, Kelly Conkey Billups lost both her parents and younger brother to COVID-19.
Her husband was hospitalized for weeks with it too and even placed on a ventilator. But Don Billups beat the virus last week and left Mount Carmel’s Rehabilitation Hospital on Thursday.
“Just glad to be going home, been a long ride,” Don Billups said.
He spent weeks in the hospital in the fight of his life against the coronavirus. Before leaving the hospital last week and going to rehab, Billups had been on a ventilator for nearly 30 days.
“Been a roller coaster ride,” he said. “With the tragedy we had, just the fight that I was going through and it’s just surreal.”
While he was in his battle, the family was dealing with unimaginable loss caused by COVID-19. In late March, Kelly lost both her parents and younger brother to COVID-19. After all she’s lost, Kelly’s been waiting to have her husband back home.
“This day means everything to us,” Kelly Conkey Billups said. “In the darkest moments, these last two months, this is a ray of sunshine and the reason I’ve been able to continue to get out of bed every day.”
Six weeks later, Don Billups is heading home with a message for anyone not taking the virus seriously.
“Don’t trivialize it,” he said. “A lot of people [say] ‘We don’t need to wear the mask, we don’t need to do this.’ Go on a ventilator for 28 days. That’ll change your mind.”
Don Billups was Mount Carmel Rehab’s first patient who recovered from COVID-19.
“He’s here and he has kicked COVID right square in the tail,” Kelly said.