Man returns home from hospital after months-long battle with COVID-19

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Home, just in time for Christmas.

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. — Thursday morning, the Pfarr household was overflowing with joy. It’s not the kind of joy that Christmas Eve brings, though. It was the kind you feel when someone you love comes home after a long time away.

Duane Pfarr, a father of five, fought COVID-19 since the end of October. He has made it home for the first time in over two months, just in time for Christmas.

“Being in the hospital room was pretty isolating, during the last couple of months,” Pfarr said.

Pfarr was also placed on a ventilator for weeks. His wife, Mary Jo also had her bout with COVID-19 but recovered. She was told it would take her husband months before he could come home.

“When he first went in, they said it would probably be six to nine months,” Mary Jo said. “So it’s only been a couple months now and he’s been determined to go home, so he’s like I’m going home!”

With that mindset, Duane made it a point to bring the Merry to Christmas himself. As soon as he stepped out of the family van, he wheeled himself through the garage and through the backyard in his wheelchair.

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When he reached the side door steps, he walked up, quite quickly, taking Mary Jo by surprise. She’s called it their “Christmas miracle.”

On top of all of this, perhaps what surprised the Pfarrs the most, they said, was the warm embrace of generosity they’ve received.

“I have to say thank you to all the nurses and doctors and therapists that helped,” Duane said. “All the generosity from people, it’s just overwhelming.”

“I didn’t tell Duane until this last week, about all the help that we have been receiving with the funds and everything, people supporting us,” Mary Jo said. “The ramp people, and we have to get a new bathroom and different things, it’s overwhelming the support – from our church and people that don’t even know us – it’s been great.”

The family has a lot of accessibility retro-fitting to do at the home, but they said they’re receiving help with that, too. Knowing that they are loved may be the biggest gift of them all.

If you would like to contribute, you can visit the family’s CaringBridge or GoFundMe pages.


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Marya Vinget

Marya Vinget is a freelance writer who works for may content writing agencies and for personal blog owners. She loves to write about everything from Tech to entertainment, You can hire her for the versatile writing attitude.