MEDFORD, Ore. -- A Covid-19 patient was able to return home after spending 45 days in the hospital between the Intermediate Care Unit and the Intensive care unit at Asante Rogue Regional in Medford.
Newswatch 12 first learned about 54-year-old Paul Rutter's battle with Covid-19 in August. Back then, he was unable to speak and couldn't do an interview, but since using multiple forms of therapy to recover, he was able to use his voice again.
He and his wife, Kim Rutter work in health care and were diagnosed with Covid at the same time. Prior to the diagnosis, they were weighing the risks and benefits of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. Two weeks before Paul's health began to spiral, Kim had received her first dose.
She detailed his experience going between hospitals for weeks on end.
"Back in July, Wednesday the 14th, he started coming down with a little cough. On Thursday, he didn't feel really good, so I had him go to urgent care. They tested him for Covid and he was positive for Covid. We both wound up positive with Covid on Friday. Come Monday, he wasn't doing any better, so I called 911 because his oxygen was pretty low. They transported him to Asante Rogue Regional to the ER and at that time they transported him to Ashland. At that time, that was the designated Covid hospital."
Paul Rutter was in Ashland for a week while doctors and nurses worked on maintaining his oxygen level, but his oxygen kept desaturating and he was eventually put on a ventilator on July 19.
It was then that Rutter was sent back to Asante Rogue Regional in Medford where he was placed in the ICU and placed on a ventilator for 9 days. He was eventually able to come off of the ventilator.
Though he was no longer reliant on the ventilator to breathe, he spent time on several floors of the hospital from the IMCU, to the rehabilitation area of the hospital to regain his strength.
Rutter said he used to be a competitive swimmer and sang in choirs, and having his lungs weakened by Covid pneumonia has been the most frustrating for him. He added though he was very active in his everyday life, all the odds were stacked against him.
"I was considered very high risk for not coming off the vents. I'm a type 2 diabetic, hypertension, overweight. I had all the markers for not coming off the vent. For me to be able to do that, it's a miracle."
Both Rutter and his wife were grateful to the staff that helped him recover.
"They've been real good to us. From day one, everyone has been upbeat, friendly, doing everything they can to get me better."
Rutter mentioned the physical therapy crew that has pushed him to regain his strength. With everyone's help, he said he got out of the hospital as planned.
Kim said if they were able to go back in time and get the vaccine sooner, they likely would have.
Paul Rutter told Newswatch 12, "I still know, to some people, it's a choice. But from what I've been through, they don't want themselves or a family member to have to go through this. The vaccine will lessen the symptoms, so hopefully they don't end up in the hospital, they'll have more like flu like type symptoms."
Rutter said he advocates for getting the shot and hopes that anti-mandate protesters are careful and protect their families.