Chef to be released after 7 month stay in the hospital

25-year-old underwent 5 surgeries after severe complications from COVID
Marcus Hartford is scheduled to be released from the hospital this week.
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 12:00 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Marcus Hartford went from working as a chef to fighting for his life.

“One night I couldn’t breathe,” Hartford said during a Zoom interview. “They told us more than multiple times that I wasn’t going to make it.”

In early April 2021, the Whitmer High School graduate says what he thought was a seasonal cold was a positive case of COVID. The infection led to complications. Marcus was put on a ventilator and placed into a medically induced coma for more than one month. Since then, he’s had a total of five surgeries.

“I currently only have technically one lung,” says Marcus, who adds he had no pre-existing conditions and no compromised immune system.

Marcus ended up in hospitals for seven months. He spoke with 13abc from the University Hospital rehab center in Avon, Ohio.

“I walked by myself with a walker the other day, finally after, you know,” Marcus said. “After 6 to 7 months of laying in a bed, you know, I got so fatigued and weak. Where I remember waking up in the ICU and not being able to move anything. Like, I felt like there was weights just laying on me. When I first, I remember, like, coming to, like I couldn’t move my arms. Couldn’t move my legs. You know, I could barely move my neck.”

Now, the chef, who turned 25 while he was in a coma, is preparing to come home at noon on Wednesday. He credits his surgeon with saving his life and making his return possible.

“He did a lot of things. He did what he could, and I’m alive today. You know, he thinks I’m a miracle and always says that because of how bad it really got,” says Marcus.

Staff members at Bar 145 said they plan to be outside Marcus’ house to welcome him back to town. Those at the restaurant also say they will welcome back Marcus as a cook again when the time comes.

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