ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – Jimmy Blaser is taking baby steps back toward his typically busy lifestyle.
“I worked a full-time job at Tonkawa and then I ran and took care of my cows at home,” said the 59-year-old.
But at the end of March, two of his family members were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Blaser was sick also – with what he thought was a cold.
“Then I’m getting sicker and sicker and sicker,” said Blaser.
Soon, Blaser’s wife dropped him off at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Enid where he was also diagnosed with coronavirus, something he thought would never happen.
“I just really thought this deal was a joke, some political deal they’re pulling or whatever and why would it bother me, and it sure did,” said Blaser.
He was on a ventilator in the ICU for 3 weeks and does not remember much about that time.
“It robs you of every drop of strength you’ve got,” Blaser said.
Blaser’s condition deteriorated to critical.
His wife was holding on to hope but preparing for the worst when suddenly, he turned the corner.
His ventilator was removed and he had two negative COVID-19 tests.
Blaser credits his doctors and nurses.
“Without them there’s no way,” said Blaser. “Just couldn’t do it.”
Nurse Crystal Gillett was with Blaser from the beginning of his journey.
“It gives you hope, you know” Gillett said. “There’s dark times right now and to see a patient like him, just to fall back on what brought you to this career.”
He’s now in the next phase: rehabilitation. It’s not easy.
Blaser hopes his story will now inspire others to take the virus more seriously than he did, and continue to thank the medical workers on the front lines.
“They put their life on the line to take care of you and why?” Blaser said. “Because they wanted to. That was their decision.”
Some more good news – his two relatives diagnosed with coronavirus have also recovered.