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Mississippi man recovers from COVID-19 after 17 days on ventilator

(AP) — Joshua Moore followed the rules.
Like many other business owners, he temporarily shut down his landscaping business and stayed home, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In early April, Moore just wasn’t feeling well.
With shortness of breath and stomach problems, he went to Neshoba General on April 8 and later tested positive for COVID-19, his family said.
“You feel like all your strength is gone,” Moore said. “It took me and kind of rolled me under.”
Moore, 35, of Philadelphia, is also a teacher at N.H. Pilate Middle School in Newton.
He said his only underlying health condition is high blood pressure.
Melonie Washington, one of Moore’s four older sisters, took meticulous notes of her brother’s illness.
She said the day after the trip to Neshoba General, her brother was hospitalized at Anderson Regional Medical Center.
Two days after that, he was on a ventilator.
“You can only imagine the anguish and the terror that my parents went through, not being able to see their child and communicate with him and not knowing what the next day was going to bring, but that’s where the faith comes in,” Washington said.
Washington, who was responsible for sharing news with the rest of the family, called the hospital for updates three times a day, she said.
It was one of the darkest times of her life.
“Very difficult time to not be able to communicate with him, not being able to see him or give him any type of encouragement, but the nurse staff there in the (Critical Care Unit) area made sure that they FaceTimed us so we could see him even when he was in the coma,” Washington said.
On April 28, 17 days after he was intubated, Moore came off the ventilator.
“We never gave up hope that he was going to come out of there alive and breathing and God heard our cries,” Washington said.
She called her brother a “walking miracle.”
“He’s young, he’s vibrant and it still affected him in a major way,” Washington said.
Moore had a greeting party waiting for him – all wearing masks – when he was discharged from Anderson on May 6, his father’s birthday.
“It’s been a journey,” he said from a facility in Philadelphia where he’s working to recover. “Getting out, you don’t know what day it is. You don’t know where your phone is.”
Moore said he’s had two negative test results for COVID-19.
He’s feeling good and is grateful, ready to get back to his life.
He hoped others would learn from his story.
“Take it serious,” Moore said. “Some people are out playing and not taking it serious and not wearing their mask and not taking precautions. They need to.”