Local man dubbed ‘sickest COVID patient in Midwest’ makes miraculous recovery

Richard Henline has battled the virus since the middle of May.

Man recovering from COVID-19 after months-long battle

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - A local man who spent nearly four months hospitalized with COVID-19 is making a miraculous recovery, according to his wife.

Teda Henline says she was told in early June her husband of 29 years, Richard Henline was “one of the sickest COVID patients in the midwest.”

Richard, 67, contracted the virus in May. At first he didn’t feel like himself, Teda recalls. Initially doctors didn’t think much of it, but several days passed, and Richard’s condition didn’t improve.

“He got up and went to the bathroom, and when he came back into the bedroom and he sat down on the side of the bed, and all I heard was wheezing,” Teda said. “I jumped out of bed and said, ‘That’s it, we’re going to the hospital.’”

Richard was admitted to The Christ Hospital at 7 a.m. on a May morning. By 1:30 p.m., he had been put on a ventilator, Teda says.

A month later, Richard took a turn for the worse.

“He had gone into cardiac arrest,” Teda said, “and they had been able to revive him. They had to shock him twice.”

Some days after that, Teda says she received a call telling her she should come to see Richard because the doctors weren’t sure he was going to make it. She says that was the hardest day.

“I was looking at him through glass and I didn’t know if I was going to see him again. That was not good.”

Richard survived 26 days on a ventilator and endured paralytic drugs, heavy sedation, cardiac arrest, daily dialysis, pneumonia and other life-threatening situations.

On July 18, he moved from the COVID intensive care unit at Christ to the medical ICU, where he began therapy. It was the first time Teda had been able to see her husband in 53 days.

Soon Richard went to Good Sam Hospital, where he continued rehab. He’s at Highland Spring of Fort Thomas since Sept. 11.

Teda says he’s able to feed himself and is able to take steps again.

“He’s in a pretty good spot right now mentally and emotionally, so I am not as worried about him as I was, because I didn’t know if I was getting my guy back, but I did,” Teda said. “I got the sarcastic sense of humor, and I am like, ‘Yes!’ Things have just fallen into place all throughout this, and that has just kind of been a miracle.”

Teda says Richard doesn’t remember much from May to July but that he does remember hearing her voice.

“It has been a journey, but we have a ways to go,” she said.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.