Defiance man’s life changed after being hospitalized for nearly 300 days following COVID-19

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 7:08 PM EST
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DEFIANCE, Ohio (WTVG) - 47-year-old Jarod Kammeyer was first taken to the hospital on November 16th, 2020.

He and his wife Cristina had no idea it would be almost 300 days until he came back home.

“They told me that he would never walk again, that he would never come home. Well, he’s here,” says Cristina Kammeyer.

Cristina and Jarod got COVID at the same time. She got better while he rapidly declined.

“So I said, ‘we’re going to the emergency room.’ I took him there, and he was at 30 percent oxygen levels, and they said, how did he even make it here?” says Cristina.

The Kammeyers say Jarod was sent to hospitals all over the state before he finally came home 288 days later in August of 2021.

But that was really the beginning for the couple. She says he still needs round-the-clock care, and they have four to twelve appointments weekly. Cristina says she truly believed the only way Jarod would come home was in a body bag.

“The report is he died on me nine times. Every single organ was affected because of COVID,” says Cristina.

And yet, he battled. The Kammeyers say Jarod continues to relearn how to do basic things. He can now walk with a walker, which is something they never thought possible.

“Nothing’s been easy for us, or for him should I say, to get through this,” says Cristina. “There’s always some form of a roadblock but we get through it, we get our faith and pray and get through it.”

Jarod has been called a ‘miracle man’ but he says life has been very tough for him. He says he lost 130 pounds and had over 30 diagnoses, including MRSA and sepsis.

“It’s been a change. A lot of things you take for granted,” says Jarod. “I’m a big do-it-yourself-er and there’s been a lot that’s been put on her. It’s been a lifestyle change for both of us.”

For now, the Kammeyers are focusing on finding some sense of normalcy.

“We’re trying to find me a new purpose,” says Jarod. “What that looks like, what that may be, we just haven’t found it yet.”

“We will. We will find that purpose,” says Cristina.

The Kammeyers say Jarod’s biggest roadblock continues to be his liver. They are using Facebook to try to find him a living donor. On Jarod’s page you can find more information about living liver donation. The couple also has a bank account you may donate to on the Facebook page that will go to Jarod’s care.

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