CONWAY, Ark. – After months of battling COVID-19, an Arkansas man is back home with his family. Doctors are calling it a miracle.
From riding a bike to taking a few steps and now playing a little Wii tennis, it’s been quite the journey for Stephen Walker to get to this point.
“I was on death’s bed and because of the people here at Baptist, they saved my life,” Walker said.
Walker started having COVID-19 symptoms on September 1.
“It got to the point where I was just working so hard to try to breathe,” Walker said.
By the third, he was admitted to the hospital in Conway.
“He came in respiratory failure ended up having to be intubated, required a trach, went into kidney failure, organ failure, on dialysis. Just about everything bad that could happen to him, happened to him,” Baptist Health Physical Medicine and Rehab Dr. Jamie Pinto said.
Dr. Pinto said they had to send him off to a hospital in Little Rock, not expecting him to ever return.
“Most of the time that’s it,” Dr. Pinto said.
Even Walker didn’t know if he would survive.
“I asked every person that came in my room if I was going to die,” Walker said.
Getting strength from those working to save his life, he finally started to turn a corner.
“I could see in their eyes you know ‘hey he’s not doing great’ but not one of them said ‘oh you’re not going to make it,” Walker said. “They gave me that constant support.”
After more than 80 days and 80 doctors, Walker was able to go home the day before Thanksgiving.
“They saved my life so that I can be with my family and that’s so very important to me,” Walker said.
It was a moment that was not only special to Walker but those who have spent the entire pandemic on the front lines.
“This is a guy who truly defied the odds,” Dr. Pinto said. “We needed some hope and we needed to see someone do well.”