29-year-old Stillwater man recovering after 8 days in hospital with COVID-19

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STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – A 29-year-old Stillwater man is home from an eight-day hospital stay on oxygen. Now, he is using a walker while recovering from COVID-19.

He’s sharing his story in hopes that others will realize the virus doesn’t care how old you are, it can still be very serious.

Zachary Lancaster says it all started with a tickle in his throat. Days later, he tested positive for COVID-19 and had a fever. 

“I got up in the middle of the night to take some more medicine and I actually passed out in the bathroom,” Lancaster said. 

Lancaster’s wife rushed him to the emergency room but was later released. The next day, he woke up at home and his temperature was 105 degrees. 

“My oxygen was down to 81. My arms and hands were tingly and my toes had started to turn purple,” he said. 

It was obvious he needed to return to Stillwater Medical Center but he didn’t have health insurance.

“My wife all but had to load me into the car to go to the hospital because I was just, no way that I could afford it,” Lancaster said. 

That was the first of his eight days in the hospital.

“I think I got one of the last rooms because it was packed, packed,” Lancaster said. “It was terrifying.”

During his stay, Zach says he was miserably ill, losing 30 pounds but he says the isolation was the worst part, leading to depression.

“I mean I got to the point in the hospital where I didn’t want to talk to my wife,” he said. “I wasn’t pressing the call button to see the nurses. I was struggling and it was brutal.”

More than a week later, he was released on the condition that his wife, a nurse, would keep him on oxygen and monitor his levels.

Zach still needs a walker to get around the house but remains hopeful.

“I will say the one good thing that came out of it is a lot of people that are close to me realized just how serious this is,” he said.

Lancaster’s wife also tested positive for COVID-19 but only had mild symptoms.

He says they’ve both been careful and are unsure where or how they contracted the virus.

His family has set up a GoFundMe to help with their medical bills.


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