CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Cheers and tears of joy were heard as 47-year-old Chad Hardee was released from Tidelands Rehabilitation Center Friday morning after a long battle against COVID-19. Hardee was taken home in a limo.
“I didn’t know if I was going to come home or even make it but luckily things turned around,” Hardee said.
The father of three said it all started with chest pains. He said he tested positive for the coronavirus on Jan. 6 but the symptoms got worse.
“I went to Conway Hospital. They put me on a ventilator and then we moved to MUSC. Then, I woke up in Vibra Hospital which is in Charleston,” Hardee said.
He said many tubes were placed in his body.
“Ten chest tubes, one feeding tube and I had two small strokes on the left side,” Hardee said.
Hardee said he wanted to thank all his friends and family for sticking by his side in what he calls one of the roughest moments of his life.
“It’s depressing to not be able to do the things you could before but when you have family and friends support you that is what gets you through it,” Hardee said.
It’s going to be a long road to recovery for Hardee. He still requires oxygen and therapy to walk. Even though Hardee said COVID has changed his life forever, he said he is grateful that he was given a second at life.
“I don’t enjoy having to walk around with a tube up my nose but we will get through it. It wont be long,” Hardee said.
Hardee said he has a message for those who say the virus is not real.
“It’s real. There were a lot of people when I was in MUSC, they did not make it and they were younger than me. You got to take care of yourself and be careful around others because I never thought I would get it,” Hardee said.
Hardee added he wants to get his COVID-19 vaccine and wants to remind everyone to continue taking precautions.