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After life or death battle with COVID-19, Noblesville man encourages others to get vaccinated

He doesn't remember any of it, but Denny Thompson recently spent three months in Methodist Hospital.

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Five months after a coronavirus battle, Denny Thompson says it’s a miracle he’s alive.

Thompson, 51, doesn’t remember any of it, but he spent three months in IU Health Methodist Hospital, machines keeping his body going as COVID-19 ravaged it. 

“I have a COVID cough still. When I start coughing, it’s hard to stop,” he said. 

If that’s the worst Thompson has to deal with after surviving the life or death battle, he’ll take it. He is just happy to be alive. 

“Everybody said there was no way he was going to survive and if he did, he would never be the same,” said Thompson’s wife, Kelly, who got COVID-19 at the same time as Denny last February. 

“I was just tired, just that real tired, achy thing,” Kelly explained. 

Thompson got so sick that, at one point, doctors thought he may need a lung, heart and kidney transplant to have any chance of making it. 

“They were also saying he may survive but he maybe on a ventilator the rest of his life and have to do dialysis the rest of his life,” Kelly recalled. 

Then, in the hours after Thompson’s family signed a “do not resuscitate” order if his heart stopped, Thompson started to improve. 

“The man upstairs definitely, definitely had a hand in this,” Thompson said, admitting that last year at this time, he and Kelly were wearing masks, but weren’t worried about getting the virus and didn't believe it could be deadly to them. 

“I just thought it was one of those things that might have been blown out of proportion, and healthy people don’t get sick and I proved them wrong,” said Thompson. 

He said before the pandemic, he worked out and lifted weights three or four times per week. While fighting the virus, Thompson lost 80 pounds. Now, trying to lift a one-pound weight is a struggle. 

A few weeks ago, Thompson got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

“If I wouldn’t have got sick, I would probably be 'I don’t know if I need it or not,’” Thompson said. “I did go through it and it’s as bad as they say it is for certain people.”

That’s why Thompson is encouraging others to take COVID-19 seriously and get vaccinated. 

“I was not a big believer in it. I’m a believer now,” said Thompson.

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