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From the ICU to the Grand Canyon: ER doctor makes incredible recovery from COVID-19

He went from spending more than a month in the ICU, to this week, he’s hiking the Grand Canyon.

HOUSTON — It’s been an incredible recovery for an emergency room doctor from Louisiana. He went from spending more than a month in the ICU, to this week, he’s hiking the Grand Canyon.

He’s sharing his story to inspire other COVID-19 survivors.

“In not too long, they’ll probably get rid of the walker and switch to just a cane. And then the goal would be to get rid of the cane altogether," Dr. Joseph Lashley said to KHOU 11 back in August.

Back then, Dr. Lashley was still using a walker after spending 39 days in the ICU diagnosed with COVID-19.

“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sit up. I couldn’t feed myself," Dr. Lashley said.

But now, less than a year later, just look at him.

“The thought was, truthfully, I’d never be able to do something like this again in my life," Dr. Lashley said. “I’m personally amazed that we made it here.”

He's trading in that walker for trekking poles to do something he’d only dreamed about from that hospital bed.

“It became something actually fun to talk about, not truly believing it would ever happen," Dr. Lashley said.

He's hiking the Grand Canyon.

“You don’t have to go fast. You just have to enjoy it," Dr. Lashley said. “It was quite emotional. I ended up crying. It was really that emotional to me that we made it to this.”

He made it.

“It was a good goal. You never know what you’re capable of until you try. And I could’ve just given up and said this is my future, but I decided I wanted to keep after it," Dr. Lashley said.

He even took his two therapists from TIRR Memorial Hermann along to celebrate the moment with him.

“They’re the hidden heroes. The physical therapists, the occupational therapists, the rehabilitation hospital," he said.

It hasn’t been an easy road. But the recovery is worth it.

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