'This is not a joke': Philadelphia man spends 63 days on ventilator with COVID-19

ByRebeccah Hendrickson via WPVI logo
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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"Be careful. This is not a joke. This is serious," Wilbur Ross said.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia man who spent 63 days on a ventilator due to COVID-19 has a warning to others, "this is not a joke."

Walking is now painful for 66-year-old Wilbur Ross, but he does not take a single step for granted.

"Be careful, this is not a joke. This is serious," he said.

He says he has sustained nerve damage to his feet and hands, a lingering effect of COVID-19.

"My feet felt like blocks of ice because it brought on a thing called neuropathy," Ross said.

Ross contracted the coronavirus in March and went to Abington Jefferson Health.

"By the time he parked the car, I was in triage and they were working on me," said Ross, who doesn't remember the following 63 days.

He was on a ventilator and was in a coma.

"He was a recipient of prayers all over the world. I think that it was prayers and divine intervention that brought him back," said Wesley East, Ross' brother.

When Ross was taken off of the ventilator, he didn't walk out of the hospital recovered.

"He came from a wheelchair, to crutches, to a walker, to being able to walk around the block now and to drive himself," said East.

Ross sees this as his second chance in life and he hopes his story is a cautionary one.