Personal trainer reveals devastating transformation after two-month COVID-19 battle | 7NEWS
He was once a fitness coach and the epitome of strength – now after two months in the hospital, Bill Phillips is a changed man.
The 56-year-old Colorado man didn’t think he needed the COVID-19 vaccine and that decision almost killed him.
Watch the video above for Bill Phillips’ story
Bill said he caught the virus the first time in January 2020.
A test found he had antibodies so he decided to not get vaccinated.
He caught COVID-19 again in June 2021.
At first, he and his wife, Maria Phillips, thought he had a sinus infection.
Then he developed a terrible cough. He got so sick that he went to the emergency room at St Anthony Hospital in Denver.
“If we had waited even an hour longer. Bill might have just taken a nap and not woken up,” his wife Maria Phillips said.
Maria Phillips said her husband was intubated for 47 days. He didn’t wake up for 18 days.
In a post to Facebook on August 10, Bill revealed he’d woken up from his coma, 31kg lighter.
Days later on August 15, he said he was able to take his first steps without a walker or support since June 24.
“We have to monitor oxygen levels closely as my lungs are like a newborn baby,” he said at the time.
“I will keep pushing and making progress daily. I will never give up.
“COVID tried to destroy me, and I will learn how to live again.”
Since being out of the ICU, Bill has gained 6kg and has started lifting again using 2.2kg dumbbells.
He can’t lift anything heavier than that at the moment.
“It didn’t help that I could bench press 300 pounds (136kg) or run a mile (1.6km) straight up a hill,” he said.
“I’ve been in a lot of pain and I have lost a lot, but I have gained a new outlook on life that is for sure.”
After two months in the hospital, the couple is getting ready to leave on Wednesday.
“Bill was so strong and independent and worked out and did all these things,” she said.
“Now he’s in a wheel chair. He can’t walk. He can’t exercise. He’s on oxygen.”
If he had a chance to do it again, he would do it differently.
The Phillips are using their experience to encourage others to get the vaccine.
“That mistake came that close to costing me my life,” he said.
The stay at the hospital was not only painful for Bill, but also his wife.
She explained how difficult it was to see her once strong husband suffering for so long.
“If Bill knew everything, the trauma, the pain, that I was going to have to go through every day for the last two months, I think he would have gotten vaccinated if he had known how much pain it was going to cause,” she said.
Maria Phillips said she also got COVID-19 in November 2020 and recovered at home.
Because she had it once, she believed she was immune. She decided to get vaccinated when her husband was in the ICU.
Bill now plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine on his birthday in September.
This content was originally published here.