Local track coach struggling with COVID for months urges vaccination | Coronavirus

OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) — A regional track coach has actually been having a hard time for months with COVID and may require a lung transplant due to the fact that of it.

Tom Lester was being in a recliner chair in his ex-wife’s Overland Park house Thursday afternoon. As he spoke, a sharp breath that seemed like a hiss punctuated every couple of words

“I don’t want anybody to go through what I’m going through. It’s, it’s hell,” he stated.

Lester has actually been Blue Springs High School’s assistant young boys’ track and field coach for the previous 5 years. He made it through one week as assistant young boys’ cross nation coach prior to he went to Lee’s Top Medical Center in August with difficulty breathing.

Within a week, he remained in the ICU. He was hospitalized for 48 days. He’s remained in rehabilitation and treatment for 70 days and counting.

Lester now has tubes twisted all around him. He can’t go anywhere without oxygen, and even with it, he can’t go far.

“To do the simplest things, to get up to make a peanut butter sandwich, is a struggle,” he explained.

A high man, his weight prior to being hospitalized was 215 pounds. He lost 65 pounds after getting embolism in his lungs, then a collapsed lung.

He relocated with his ex-wife, the mom of his 2 women and still a friend, to assist nurse him back to some form of health.

“I’ve got to get stronger. I’ve got to eat. Debbie is helping me with that,” he stated.

He went to the medical facility due to the fact that he was having difficulty breathing. He’d seen the news about the Delta variation of COVID. He believed he ought to go to the medical facility simply in case. Still, he figured he wouldn’t exist long.

“I was foolish enough not to get the shot. I didn’t really have a major reason. I just chose not to get it,” he discussed.

“It wasn’t that he was opposed to it. He was like, ‘I’ll be fine,’” discussed Debbie Mann, his ex-wife.

“I’m pretty healthy for a 57-year-old guy,” he remembered believing.

That was his factor for avoiding it. Now, he gets a kick out of being the factor an old pal took the leap to get immunized in October after seeing how Lester was doing.

“It scared the hell out of him. And he and I talked. And the next day he said, ‘Tom, I went and got a shot because of you.’ I was very happy,” he stated. “I was happy I influenced one person. That’s a start.”

He keeps in mind the difficulty with his physical health aren’t restricted to him. It affects others who now require to assist take care of him, and shuttle bus him to and from medical visits. That is his only actual time outside Mann’s home.

Mann stated it has actually been a true blessing to her and their children to take care of him after all he’s provided for them. It’s their opportunity to return.

Lester’s days now are invested primarily in front of the television, seeing anything sports. What keeps him going is the concept of training once again.

“I want to, even if it’s in a golf cart,” he stated.

His training life has actually included motivating kids. Now, he’s training to a bigger audience.

“Let me be the case study in [what happens] not getting the shot. Go get it,” he urged. “You still may get [COVID], but I don’t think you’ll get it nearly what I’ve had to go through.”

It’s not simply his health that been affected. A long medical facility stay and breathing devices is pricey.

Mann revealed us a light-weight, portable oxygen tank he’s had his eye on, so he can move more frequently. It cost $2,500.

Some in the running world have actually started a fundraising event on GoFundMe. You can discover the link here.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.