Camden man going home from the hospital after battling COVID-19 for 60 days

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Camden man going home after battling COVID-19 for 60 days
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Darnell Lewis knows he's one of the lucky ones. He was able to beat COVID-19.

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Darnell Lewis knows he's one of the lucky ones. He was able to beat COVID-19.

"People, this is real. I flatlined for five minutes. I was gone. COVID is real," Lewis said. "Stay in the house. Stay home."

The 41-year-old Camden, New Jersey resident spent more than 60 days battling the virus at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden.

Doctors say he was on a ventilator for 44 days.

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Nursing staffers say, at times, it seemed like Lewis wouldn't pull through, But, they say, he is a fighter.

"We don't give up on anybody but we have seen more deaths than I ever thought possible, and to have this one ray of light was really amazing," said Elle Sciamanna, a nurse at Virtua.

Due to the pandemic, family members couldn't be at the hospital but stayed in touch with nurses and were updated around the clock.

Lewis' mother, Victoria Gandy, says a "thank you" is just not enough.

"There are really no words except thank God and the staff. It's more than a miracle," Gandy said.

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Virtua appropriately called Lewis' release a "Clap Out," as they applauded his departure from the hospital and his return home.

They called him a "COVID miracle."

"I can't keep saying nothing but thank the Lord and praise God because that is the reason I am here," said Lewis.

The nursing staff at Virtua stresses that COVID-19 does not discriminate. They add there were plenty of complications for Lewis.

One nurse says it was an "Act of God" that Lewis survived.