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Highlands Ranch family recovering after contracting COVID-19

Posted at 4:29 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 07:28:41-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — After weeks of battling COVID-19, one Highlands Ranch family is now free of the disease.

The father, Michael McClurkin, said it feels good to be recovering, but he still feels weak.

"I get tired pretty easily," he said. "I can notice progress from day to day."

His son, Jason McClurkin, who is in his 40s, was the first to be hospitalized in mid-March, followed by Michael a week later. Jason's mother, Ellen McClurkin, also believes she contracted the disease, but she was not hospitalized.

"I have not had an illness that has knocked me on my butt this hard," Jason explained about coronavirus. "It completely takes you out."

Michael was hospitalized at a different hospital, Swedish Medical Center, and put on a ventilator within days. He was the first patient there to be intubated for COVID-19.

Dr. Mary Laird Warner, a critical care physician at Swedish Hospital, said it was an eye-opening experience for the staff.

"It was the first case of COVID-19 I had to put on life-support," she said.

But after their fever broke, at different times, the family members were released from the hospitals, and now they are all at home, continuing their recovery.

"For him to be doing as well as he's doing at this stage is really quite remarkable," Warner said. "It's really heartening for our team."

Each family member is now at home, and their 14-day quarantine is complete. And the word that comes to mind for all of them is "gratitude."

"I've had a lot of different moments where things just kind of sink in, and I feel a lot of gratitude," Jason said. "Things could have been a lot different, a lot worse. And with the way they turned out, I am very grateful."