PITTSBURGH — 54-year-old Brenda Markle is leaving UPMC Mercy Hospital in a wheelchair. Doctors and nurses clapped as she made her way out the door because she spent 112 days fighting for her life against COVID-19. She spent 54 days in the ICU and 25 days on a ventilator.
“I couldn’t leave her side,” said Neil Butler Sr.
He drove from Connellsville to Pittsburgh each day Markle was in the hospital.
“When I walked past the rooms, and I seen how many people on the ventilator, and I walked past the same rooms the next day, and they was gone, I knew something happened man,” he said.
The Butler family said although Markle is at home and breathing on her own, she still requires around-the-clock care. She’ll need months of occupational, physical and speech therapy to learn to walk, talk and return to the person she was before COVID-19.
“It got real rough on her, and it took her down fast. Breathing and everything was real bad being on a ventilator for so long,” Butler said.
The family said they’re working to pay the medical bills they’re now facing. They also need to build a ramp for her wheelchair, buy a van to hold it and make improvements to the house.
Cox Media Group