GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A young Triad firefighter spent 41 days in the hospital hooked up to a ventilator fighting COVID.
Corey Spencer is now out of intensive care and in rehab. He told WGHP that he hopes to be with his Pinecroft Sedgefield firefighter family soon.
WGHP spoke with Spencer and his mother, Linda, on Friday.
“I was one of those hardheaded people that thought, ‘Hey I’m not going to get it’…and I did, and I took a turn for the worse,” he said.
It’s a decision Spencer now regrets.
“Here I am, 26, and they said I’m one of the youngest ones they’ve seen with the virus this bad,” he added.
Spencer went to the hospital on May 29. He was hooked up to a ventilator, unconscious, and in the ICU for most of his stay.
“It almost killed me,” he said. “It did kill me for a little bit. They brought me back in Lexington when they did CPR there.”
Spencer doesn’t remember much.
“I woke up to a light in the ceiling, and it was about three and a half weeks later,” he said. “They were pulling tubes out of my throat.”
His mother, however, remembers every terrifying moment.
“There was one night, I had a very bad night. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw him die. So I never went to sleep,” she said. “Because I can’t imagine life without him. Him and I have been a rock together all his life.”
She also contracted COVID.
“I had a fever for 11 days straight. I had it pretty bad but nothing like Corey,” Linda Spencer said.
Her story about almost losing her son has already helped save other lives.
“He saves people’s lives every day…my boss here got vaccinated because of Corey,” Linda said. “Because she said [she] could be in that situation, and she said [she didn’t] want that.”
“There are few people who went through what I did and are able to talk about it,” Spencer said.
Now he’s going to make sure he does a better job of saving his own.
“I’m going to get vaccinated,” Spencer said.
The Spencers said the outpouring of support from people at the fire department, from friends and from people in their community is truly appreciated.