Dub Crochet, a Texas native, might hold the record for the longest COVID-19 hospital stay in history. He was diagnosed with the virus in August 2021 before being admitted to Houston Methodist Texas Medical Center. Three months later, he was transferred to Houston Methodist Continuing Care Hospital, which became his home for the next year.
The experience kept him from celebrating some of life’s biggest moments, including the birth of his grandson and his 70th birthday. He also wasn’t able to celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving last year.
His doctors came to believe he might not leave the hospital at all. They told his wife that he would probably be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.
But Crochet eventually recovered from his illness after 453 days in the hospital. The staff rolled him out of the facility in a wheelchair to a rapturous round of applause. His friends, family and caregivers formed a line to cheer him on as he made his way to the car. Crochet can now spend the holidays at home for the first time in over a year.
“It was tough for me lying there during Thanksgiving [and] during Christmas because I’m a big holiday person,” Crochet reflected upon being discharged from the hospital. “To miss that was tough.”
The staff at the hospital will always have a special place in his heart. “The doctors and nurses couldn’t be a better group of people. I’ve never seen that many people work together and enjoy each other. Friends can’t go through life without friends. Church is a priority. And my family, God bless them. They’re my rock,” Dub said with a new lease on life.
His wife Rachel is thrilled to have her husband back after spending countless nights at his bedside. “He’s a miracle, he is a miracle. They said there was no way he could survive,” she said. “I went, ‘Nope, he’s walking out of here. He’s walking out of here!” And he did! And he did!”
Crochet did not have any preexisting conditions and was fully vaccinated when he caught the virus but soon came down with a severe fever as his oxygen levels dropped. Over the course of his long stay, he battled pneumonia, a collapsing lug, pancreatitis, kidney failure, and what seemed like a never-ending series of complications. Every time he seemed to get better, a new problem would arise.
“Every organ in his body failed at some point except his heart and his brain,” Rachel Crochet said. “The doctors looked at me and said, ‘He’s not going to survive.’”
Crochet went on to enjoy some of his favorite holiday meals for Thanksgiving including green beans and sweet potatoes, which he prepared himself.
They also had a photo shoot with each of the grandchildren. And things felt normal for the first time in a year. “Did you ever think Papa would be home sitting at the table?” a family member asked one of the grandchildren. “I feel like I’m dreaming,” they replied.
Vaccinated individuals now make the majority of COVID-19-related deaths, according to a recent analysis conducted by Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. The results show 58% of coronavirus deaths in August were people who were vaccinated or boosted, the analysis showed.
Unvaccinated individuals still have a higher chance of dying from the disease than those who have had the vaccine.