Albertville ‘miracle’ man discusses 5 month battle with COVID-19

Northeast Alabama

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – One Albertville family is calling their loved one a “miracle” after he battled the coronavirus for almost five months.

“I was in the hospital close to five months and I probably don’t remember three months of it,” said Jeff Gentry.

Jeff and his wife Jamie sat inside their home for a Zoom interview as they still take precautions due to COVID-19.

Jamie also tested positive for the coronavirus but only had a mild case.

He said his coronavirus symptoms started with a tickle cough, bnt a few days later, he got worse.

“He would get a little better and then he’d have a little setback, then he’d get a little better and then he’d have a little setback. And then on Thanksgiving day he took a turn and that’s when they had to emergency ventilate him,” said Jamie.

It was excruciating for her to not be by his side.

“I was desperate and heartbroken and worried and scared,” explained Jamie.

Jeff went from Marshall Medical Center North to Huntsville Hospital then to rehab.

While in rehab, he had a cardiac incident and was taken to the nearby Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham.

“I was on the ventilator for 93 days,” said Jeff.

“He took a turn on March 1, which was the third turn for the worst, and on that day he went into cardiac arrest. That was probably the darkest day,” added Jamie.

They told News 19 that medical personnel had to perform CPR and perform defibrillation on him.

Jamie said it was the prayer warriors that helped get them through, and bring her husband back home.

“He would take a turn and I’d get on Facebook and I would ask for prayer and our friends, our community, our church, people all over the state were praying for him and that’s why he’s here,” she explained.

Even though Jeff is in her arms once again, he still has a long recovery ahead of him.

“’I’m still trying to learn how to walk. I can’t walk without a walker now but I’m getting close. I have a right arm that’s not fully functional. I have a right foot that is a drop foot. Speech therapists had to work on my esophagus because it was not working right, had that down it for so long,” explained Jeff.

He told News 19 the love of his family has been the best medicine.

“He missed Thanksgiving, his birthday, our future daughter-in-law’s birthday, his retirement, Christmas, our anniversary and the birth of our baby and Valentine’s Day and his other son’s birthday. You know what our gift was? Him,” laughed Jamie.

The Gentry’s message for the community is one of hope.

They said no matter how bad things get, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and where there’s God nothing is impossible.

The pair also encourages people to take COVID-19 seriously, social distance and get vaccinated.

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