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After beating COVID-19, Murrells Inlet man gets hero’s welcome home

Health

After beating COVID-19, Murrells Inlet man gets hero’s welcome home

Health Murrells Inlet resident Charles Costello was ecstatic to go home to his wife after successfully battling a near-fatal COVID-19 infection.

Murrells Inlet resident Charles Costello was ecstatic to go home to his wife after successfully battling a near-fatal COVID-19 infection.

Charles Costello came home to a hero’s welcome.
On Thursday afternoon, the 66-year-old Murrells Inlet resident was released from Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital after overcoming a nearly fatal COVID-19 infection.
As he and his wife, Diane, reached their neighborhood, they were greeted by a heartwarming sight.
A parade of neighbors marched before them – observing social distancing guidelines — holding signs and balloons to celebrate Charles’ recovery. Kool & The Gang’s hit song “Celebration” accompanied their cheers and claps.
“It was really unexpected,” Charles says, “and a wonderful welcome back.”

A fight for his life

At times during his battle with COVID-19, it was unclear if Charles would ever return home or live to be with Diane for their 40th wedding anniversary on May 17.
Charles was taken by ambulance to Tidelands Waccamaw on March 26 after experiencing weakness, fever and increasing shortness of breath. By the following day, his condition had deteriorated so rapidly that his care team placed him in a medically induced coma and put him on a mechanical ventilator to breathe.

Charles and Diane Costello both became ill with the COVID-19 coronavirus, although Diane was able to safely recover at home.

“He was fighting for his life,” says Dr. Desmond Young, a Tidelands Health critical care and pulmonary specialist and one of several physicians who led his care. “It was very much touch and go.”
For a week, Charles remained in a coma in the hospital’s critical care unit. Over time, after receiving advanced care from a team that included Dr. Young and several other physicians, respiratory therapists, nurses, pharmacists and more, his condition began to improve.
“His recovery is remarkable,” Dr. Young says. “Charles is a fighter; I’m really proud of him and everyone who was involved in his care.”

Hope

By Saturday, April 4, Charles was breathing on his own, and his condition has consistently improved ever since.
“He is such a wonderful man,” says Bessie Brown, clinical director of 2 East at Tidelands Waccamaw, where Charles received care as his condition improved. “Even when he felt bad, he was so nice to the nurses. You can tell that he is a very compassionate individual.”

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Although still weak and using a walker to get around, Charles was extremely happy to be discharged on Thursday, calling it the “happiest day since my wedding.”
Diane, too, is on the mend after being infected with COVID-19. She began experiencing symptoms a few days after her husband, a major concern because she is at high risk of complications from the illness due to an immune system disorder called common variable immune deficiency.
“I turned the corner Wednesday,” Diane says. “Now it just feels more like a bad cold.”

Self-isolating

When she learned her husband would be released on Thursday, she was ecstatic.
“It was one of the happiest days of my life picking him up,” she says.
Charles and Diane are looking forward to spending time together in the coming days. They will be self-isolating in their home for two weeks, but they are well-stocked on supplies.
One of their thoughtful neighbors even anonymously dropped off a roll of in-demand toilet paper.
“I just want to thank everyone for all their support and prayers,” Charles says. “COVID-19 is very serious, so make sure to practice social distancing and the other recommendations out there right now.
“Just be safe.”

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