Covid Reality: My cousin’s story spending nearly 4 months in the hospital

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 6:43 PM EST
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For the past two years almost, WNDU has shared stories of the pandemic and how it’s affecting lives across the globe including right here in our community.

While Evening Anchor Lauren Moss has shared your stories, her family watched someone they love fight this dreaded disease after waiting to get vaccinated.

At 47 years old, Lauren’s cousin Brad Moss is a navy veteran, a brother, husband, and father of two teenage boys. It’s the little moments that mean so much to them now after a life-changing summer.

Brad says, “I was always a big family guy, , but the thought that I might not be able to be with them anymore really sunk in at a certain point.”

13-year-old Danny and 16-year-old Eddie are both great athletes. Back in July, Danny had a baseball tournament in Myrtle Beach.

“We came back and my wife Amy developed symptoms first. At that point, it was like four or five days on the couch for both of us...Amy gradually got better and I didn’t,” said Brad.

After passing out, he was taken to Silver Cross Hospital with covid pneumonia.

Amy said, “I really thought we were taking him to the ER so he could get an IV and he just needed to hydrate.”

For the next 4 months, Brad fought internal bleeding, kidney failure, blood clots, the possibility of losing his leg and his life.

Brad says, “The doctors recommended I go on the ventilator for a couple of days and I heard all of the stories, ‘if you go on a ventilator, you are not going to make it off’ but they told me ‘you either go on it or you die.’ "

A couple of days turned into 23.

Amy said, “I would come in everyday, and I would take a deep breath not knowing what I was walking into.”

The community rallied behind the Moss’. Danny’s football league, The Tinley Park Bulldogs, hosted a prayer vigil and a t-shirt drive raising thousands. Amazingly, the day before Brad’s 47th birthday, he no longer needed the ventilator and the hospital staff had a special surprise. For the first time in over 3 months, the boys were able to see their Dad.

Eddie said, “Just seeing him was amazing and that instilled a lot of hope in him to keep fighting.”

Brad said, “As a fellow Moss, we tend to get emotional, I was still so weak and talking was a struggle but it didn’t matter, because I spent the day with all 3 of them.”

It was the inspiration Brad needed when he faced another setback.

Brad said,”I just had this terrible pain in my stomach. The doctor told me it was my gallbladder but he didn’t want to take it out because he didn’t think I would make it off the ventilator again.”

He credits his healthcare workers at Silver Cross for getting him through that day, especially a moment with occupational therapist Lindsay Heidrich.

Brad said, “A moment I’ll never forget, Lindsay just kind of sat there with me on the bed and held my hand ....and I needed that at the time.”

Lindsay said, “As frustrated as he was, I was was like how much more can this man endure? Sometimes you just need to be present in the moment, have a good cry and pick yourself up and that’s what we did that day. The next day he was motivated and ready to go.”

And he was ready to go home.... Brad says after that day, it was like he was a new man.

Brad says, “I went into a different mode and I put my phone in my pocket with my playlist on and motivated myself.”

Brad put in the work and after nearly 4 months in the hospital, it was time to go home. Brad and Amy say they owe it all to the healthcare workers.

Brad said, “They needed me to make this recovery as much as I needed them to help me through.”

Heidrich said, “With all the pressure we are under, to watch someone go through what he did and go makes us appreciate what we do and it makes it worthwhile.”

Brad’s physical therapist Jessica Svoboda said, “He has made such profound gains in his physical mobility and I know that’s translated to a better quality of life with his boys and wife and family.

And just this past weekend, our family saw that too as we watched Brad walk on his own for the first time.

Amy and the boys have now been vaccinated and now that Brad keeps on improving, he is partially vaccinated. Amy and Brad say because of their experience, they’ve had the opportunity to speak with top infectious disease experts who all recommend getting vaccinated against covid.

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