'You gotta keep fighting': Coronavirus patient leaves rehab hospital after months of recovery

Anthony Tyler was unable to walk, eat or complete tasks on his own.

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 5:56 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 6:47 PM

Anthony Tyler walked towards a brighter future Friday.

The Moulton man spent nearly three months at a rehab facility after battling coronavirus. On Friday, he was able to finally go home.

"You gotta keep getting up, you gotta keep pushing, you gotta keep fighting, you gotta keep digging," Tyler said.

But it was not an easy fight. On Aug. 5, after his wife tested positive, Tyler started showing severe symptoms.

"I just remember the ambulance coming to pick me up," Tyler said. "I don't remember nothing about getting into the hospital. I know I woke up four weeks later. That day, they told her I wouldn't make it through the night."

He spent a whole month on a ventilator at Decatur-Morgan Hospital, causing his muscles to deteriorate. Tyler was unable to walk, eat or complete tasks on his own. He would spend the next few months at the rehab hospital.

"He looked like a spinal cord patient, he could barely move his legs, he couldn't move his arms at all," Dr. Keith Anderson said. "I've never seen anything like that before besides somebody with actual spinal cord injury."

Tyler would begin to progress. He said it was faith, support from family and the new friendships he built at the rehab hospital that allowed him to persevere.

"I've met people I'll never forget," Tyler said. "I'll never forget the first day I took my first step, and that was just a milestone."

But Tyler is just one of several coronavirus patients who have gone through rehabilitation at Encompass. Dr. Anderson said the disease is affecting people's bodies in ways she could have never predicted.

"Coming from a disease standpoint, it's something we've never seen before, and each day, we're finding out new things that this virus can do," Anderson said.

The list of complications a patient can endure due to coronavirus is growing.

"We've seen patients who've had strokes, heart attacks, neuromuscular problems, weakness, just general fatigued from being on a ventilator for a long period of time," Anderson said.

While it can be devastating to see how the virus has taken over people's health, there are moments of hope. Occupational Therapist Jenny Sisco cherishes those moments.

"It's a reward in and of itself to see that somebody came in unable to do the simple things in life that we take for granted, getting up to go the bathroom on their own, and working daily to do those things and getting them back to where they can do those things is very gratifying," Sisco said.

While Tyler is walking away from the hospital, on the road to recovery, he wants people to realize just how dangerous the virus can be.

"This is no joke," Tyler said. "You better take it serious, because when it knocks you down, it's hard to get back up."

Encompass Health in Huntsville has treated around 45 patients with a history of coronavirus.

Huntsville/Madison
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 47°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 43°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 47°
Decatur
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
Fort Payne
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 701847

Reported Deaths: 8777
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby779711168
Davidson72385688
Knox39701432
Hamilton35466337
Rutherford33860294
Unassigned23587134
Williamson21906144
Sumner18644232
Out of TN1615282
Montgomery14979149
Wilson14728164
Sullivan12893218
Blount12267132
Washington12102203
Maury11179128
Bradley1108895
Sevier10704120
Putnam10116151
Madison9273183
Robertson782687
Hamblen7172117
Anderson6947114
Greene6719115
Tipton632969
Gibson5733114
Coffee573282
Dickson552682
Cumberland550576
Bedford540391
Roane530081
Lawrence518869
Carter5171115
McMinn516774
Warren504454
Loudon503550
Jefferson490178
Dyer483386
Monroe467063
Hawkins455272
Franklin420065
Fayette408751
Obion404582
Rhea388457
Lincoln385546
Marshall353338
Cocke352758
Cheatham347331
Weakley344248
Henderson336559
Campbell334940
Giles330574
Carroll315860
White315144
Hardeman314054
Hardin304250
Lauderdale296933
Macon293251
Wayne267424
Henry266958
Overton258846
DeKalb246342
McNairy245442
Haywood243747
Smith234230
Marion233932
Trousdale230315
Scott228832
Hickman227835
Claiborne224932
Fentress215734
Grainger214339
Johnson204634
Morgan193916
Crockett182438
Chester177439
Bledsoe177011
Unicoi169545
Cannon160320
Lake157821
Decatur148628
Polk147817
Union143225
Grundy142622
Sequatchie140319
Humphreys136717
Benton133435
Lewis130121
Meigs117616
Stewart109620
Jackson105723
Perry95825
Clay95426
Houston94624
Moore8299
Pickett69020
Van Buren6737
Hancock4177

Community Events