St. Louis man battling COVID-19 reunited with daughter following 76-day hospital stay


ST. LOUIS – After spending more than two months in the hospital, a St. Louis man has won his battle with COVID-19.

“Jesus rose the dead. And he definitely rose my daddy,” Melynie Blackshear said.

Blackshear’s father, Calvin Davis, spent more than six weeks isolated in the Intensive Care Unit.

His total time in the hospital—76 days—was spent in isolation.

Blackshear said Davis, 66, was experiencing serious respiratory issues when he was admitted to St. Louis University Hospital.

“They said he was so forgone. That he was considered terminal. His lungs had hardened. They had turned into concrete, like bricks,” she said.

That prognosis was one Davis’ daughter would not accept. She believed her father would recover.

“There was no way that we were going to let our dad go. I saw a heartbeat. I saw other positive signs,” she said.

Davis spent four weeks on the ventilator before he was transferred to Kindred Hospital.

“He underwent recovery and rehab. And what we call, ‘weaning from the ventilator.’ We started a process where he is breathing on his own. Baby steps. Small steps every day by day. Until he came off the ventilator and he was breathing on his own,” Kindred Hospital Pulmonologist Dr. Edward Charbek said.

Eventually, Davis was able to leave Kindred. The emotional reunion was captured on video.

Blackshear said it was a day she will never forget.

“Just to see him. Oh my gosh, so much life,” she said.

She was amazed to see her father recover, given the circumstances.

“How does a patient heal, when they can’t have family around them? How do you do that? So, not only was it difficult for us, it was challenging for him,” she said. “It’s hard. You’re in a strange environment. You have strange folks, in and out.”

Blackshear said she is grateful for the care her father received at Kindred Hospital.

“We have our daddy,” she said.

Davis is now undergoing rehabilitation at DePaul Hospital. He is starting to walk and his voice is getting stronger.

“It’s a great feeling. It really is we are blessed. And he is, too,” Blackshear said.

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