St. Louis County man in his 20s survives COVID after months in hospital


CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – It’s not just those over 65 and those with underlying conditions who get the coronavirus. A west St. Louis County man in his 20s who had the virus was hospitalized for months. Friday he got a hero’s welcome when he left the hospital.

Josh Miller, 29, was hospitalized at St. Luke’s hospital in Chesterfield for three months battling covid. He credits the staff for their remarkable work.

“If I didn’t have my mom here if she weren’t living with me, i don’t know how i would have gotten through these last several months with josh being in the hospital,” Josh’s wife Brittany said.

It went from tears to cheers as Miller was discharged from the hospital. Doctors, nurses and staff lined a hallway to say goodbye.

Josh tested positive for COVID in Nov. and entered the ER in critical condition with severe pneumonia.

“I was on 100% oxygen in the mask, and I still couldn’t breathe and that was the last thing I remembered before waking up two months later,” Josh said.

Josh spent 60 days on an ECMO machine that allows blood to bypass the heart and lungs allowing those organs to rest and heal.

“We made a decision that he’s 29 years old and we were not going to give up on him,” Dr. Jeremy Leidenfrost, a cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Luke’s hospital said.

“Dr. Leidencroft saved my life there’s no other way to put it,” Josh said.

A former COVID survivor discharged from St. Lukes last year, St. Louis Police Officer Dave Tenorio has been in touch with Josh.

“I’ve been trying to stress to him your brain knows what you know how to do and what you should do but your body can’t do it yet that’s the frustrating part,” Tenorio said. “You just have to let your body catch up to your brain, but you got to give it time and he’s got a long road ahead of him.”

Josh faces months of intense therapy so he can walk again.

“We expect him to make a full recovery, it will take several months for him to get his strength back,” Dr. Leidenfrost said.

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