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Carmel man thanks hospital staff for saving his life

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A 76-year-old Carmel resident spent five weeks in the hospital with pneumonia and COVID-19 symptoms. He says the nurses and doctors at IU Health provided more than just physical care.

The first two weeks Larry Schultz was in a coma and on a ventilator for four out of the five weeks.

But that never stopped his faith in the hospital staff.

Doctors officially diagnosed Schultz with adult respiratory distress syndrome.

It has a 25 to 30% mortality risk and requires extensive use of advanced medications and medical technology.

Schultz says it was a scary time to be in the hospital alone. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, his wife could only drop him off.

Not only is he thankful for the physical care from the nurses, but it’s the extra mile they went to make him feel special.

They taught him how to Facetime his wife and daughter. He says hearing their voices made all the difference in the world.

Schultz says some nurses even followed him home to capture his first steps.

“I don’t feel that they are my heroes because they are not,” Schultz said. “They are my guardian angels. I’m sorry I get a little emotional over that because they got me to the point where I was able to walk out in the fresh open air like that again.”

News 8 reached out to IU health. Dr. William Harvey was the lead physician on Schultz’s care team.

“Mr. Schultz’s unfailing spirit and strength of character in a time of personal and community-wide medical crisis is an inspiration to us all,” Dr. Harvey said. “Severe respiratory illness is a reminder in this current era of COVID-19 pandemic that many non-COVID diseases threaten personal life and liberty.”

Schultz is finally back home with his wife and recovering. He’s looking forward to spending time with family.

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