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‘It was special:’ Man reunites with VCU medical staff after 114 days in hospital with COVID-19

A Richmond man is thankful after getting an opportunity to say thank you to the doctors, nurses and therapists who helped save his life. Freddy Sexton Jr. spent
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 2:26 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond man is grateful after getting an opportunity to say “thank you” to the doctors, nurses and therapists who helped save his life. Freddy Sexton Jr. spent months at VCU Medical Center with COVID-19 but continues to get stronger every day.

Sexton Jr. called 12 On Your Side, sharing his story with one of the dedicated volunteers. He hoped to reunite and say thank you to the people who were by his side during nearly 100 days in the hospital with COVID 19. He was intubated for more than a month in the summer of 2021. After being transferred to Henrico Doctor’s Hospital for rehabilitation, he remains at home, improving daily.

A Richmond man is hoping to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical...
A Richmond man is hoping to get an important message to doctors and nurses at VCU medical center. Freddy Sexton Jr. spent months there with COVID-19, but continues to recover and get stronger.(NBC 12)

Sexton says there is so much he doesn’t remember from his time in the hospital. Last May, Sexton, his wife, and their daughter were all diagnosed with COVID-19. He was not vaccinated at the time. What started as shortness of breath was almost fatal. He was eventually intubated, with doctors fearing he would not survive.

“I was in a coma for a month and a half. The prognosis was they were letting my family know I wasn’t going to make it. Wednesday morning, God blessed me, and I woke up. I thank [VCU] doctors and nurses for my recovery. I had to start all over. I was like a baby,” said Sexton Jr. in his first interview with NBC 12. “I remember faces here and there, but names I am not that good. I just want to reunite with them and thank them personally, and give them a nice hug or elbow bump.”

After a few e-mails and phone calls with VCU Medical Center, a reunion happened.

Freddy Sexton Jr. meets the team who helped save his life during a 114 day stay in the hospital.
Freddy Sexton Jr. meets the team who helped save his life during a 114 day stay in the hospital.(VCU Medical Center)

“They call it a victory lap. That’s what they call it, a victory lap. They were awesome, as usual,” he said. “They surprised me; I didn’t expect all those folks to be there in the middle of the day like that.”

He says there were doctors, nurses and therapists there rejoicing with him.

“I thank Channel 12; I thank Jasmine Turner for connecting me back with them. It was special,” Sexton explained. “I got almost emotional about it. It was like unbelievable that I went through such an ordeal, and just to be back there, most of it I was in my room under quarantine.”

Walking the halls, surrounded by the people who did not leave his side, meant the world to Sexton. For those still recovering from the virus, he wants them to know that healing and regaining strength is a process.

“It is rough, but you will get through it,” said Sexton. “It makes you appreciate life more. Just to be here, knowing a lot of folks didn’t make it. It just humbled me.”

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