After spending nine long months in an area hospital during his battle with coronavirus, a North Chicago man is facing down a long recovery from the illness that tested him at every turn.
Kelvin Jordan is a COVID long-hauler, being diagnosed with the virus last year and then spending more than three-quarters of a year waging war with the disease.
“He was getting fed by a tube,” his wife Jacqueline Johnson-Jordan says. “They had to put a trachea in his throat. He was on a ventilator, that main ventilator they talk about when people catch the COVID, he was on that for two and a half months.”
Johnson-Jordan says that her husband is happy to finally be out of the hospital, but there are plenty of challenges remaining ahead.
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“He can’t walk, so he has to learn that all over again,” she says. “He’s not able to stand by himself, so he’s got a long road.”
His community will be rallying behind him. He and his wife spent years giving back by volunteering their time at a local food bank, and now that community is looking to repay him for his tireless efforts.
“We just wanted to recognize him, and to let him know the city of North Chicago supports him and all his efforts of getting back to normal,” Mayor Leon Rockingham says.
Rockingham called Kelvin’s release from the hospital a victory, and police and firefighters celebrated in style, escorting him home from the hospital this week.
“He was surprised. He was shocked at how much love was shown,” Johnson-Jordan says. “The police, the fire department, the ambulances. People of our church community and our friends came out and celebrated.”
Johnson-Jordan, who has set up an online fundraiser to help with her husband’s medical expenses and other financial needs, is encouraging area residents to take the virus seriously, and to be sure that they take advantage of available vaccines, something that was not an option for her family when her husband became ill.
“Me and my husband were going through this for nine months. (Take the vaccine) so that you won’t have to suffer what we went through,” she says.