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'Blessed ending' | Houston man whose 'lungs were ravaged' by coronavirus released from hospital

For nine days, Emilian White lay in a hospital bed struggling to breathe as doctors and nurses worked to save his life.

HOUSTON — Editor's note: The attached video originally aired on March 29.

We have good news to share about a Houston man who was rushed to the hospital last week after x-rays revealed he had COVID-19.

After nine days at United Memorial Medical Center, Emilian White got to go home to his family Wednesday night.

Emilian, 66, and wife Kim Gagne are forever grateful to the doctors and nurses who saved his life.

“His doctor told him that had he waited one more day, the conversation would have been different,” Kim said. “His lungs were ravaged by this virus.”

Every breath was a struggle for Emilian and he was in the hospital for a week before he even felt well enough to Facetime with his family.

The toughest thing for Kim was not being able to be at his side. But she took comfort in knowing he was in good hands. 

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“These people are superheroes on the front lines. Instead of capes, they are in gowns and masks,” Kim said. “Emilian told me that he has never seen the face of the people who are caring for him. He only knows his nurse is kind and has beautiful green eyes.”

The couple's faith helped carry them through the crisis as friends and family from near and far prayed for Emilian. 

Kim shared their story to warn others to stay home and don’t have visitors.

Emilian came down with a fever after a small wedding anniversary party at their home on March 20. At the time, gatherings of 10 or fewer were considered safe, so the couple thought they were okay, as long as they practiced social distancing.

“We are thinking we are in the house, we are not at 10 so we are good,” Kim Gagne said. “We are not hugging, kissing on each other.”

Even so, Emilian and three others from the gathering, including a 13-year-old, later tested positive for the coronavirus.

All are on the road to recovery now, but they know this story could have had a very different ending.

“We have a blessed story but not everyone will,” Kim said.


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