Malvern family experiences grief and triumph over COVID-19

Local News

MALVERN, Ark. — A Malvern woman lost her brother to COVID-19 in September. Shortly after, her father contracted the virus and spent nearly 10 weeks in the hospital.

Wednesday is a happy day as 70-year-old Douglas Casey finally gets to come home, a moment his family has been hoping for and praying for, for weeks.

It’s also a bittersweet reminder of their other loved one who didn’t survive.

They couldn’t hold back their smiles or tears.

As the family patriarch, “Pops,” finally gets to come home.

“And I’m sure all the grandkids and great grandkids will be very excited to see him today,” said daughter Karla Casey.

Casey was battling a vicious disease for nearly ten weeks. Almost a month of that time, he was on a ventilator.

“He had to get a trach put into his neck and emergency dialysis and just so many more things that happened over the last nine weeks, but here we are,” Karla said.

“I had to learn how to walk, eat, swallow,” said Douglas Casey.

But this family keeps family at the center.

And it’s Douglas’s legacy who kept him pressing on.

“And to get home to my kids and grandkids, is one of the most rewarding things that motivated me to push myself,” Douglas said.

The family calling this moment nothing short of a miracle.

“The doctors, they were giving us updates every day and there were moments where things were not looking very good,” Karla said.

Because she’s seen the worst side of COVID-19…when it took her brother, Brian, this fall.

“We miss him so much,” Karla said.  “He lasted, what, maybe nine days from the time he got diagnosed.”

The leader of the family still faces a long road ahead.

“I feel great,” Douglas said. “I don’t have any pain. But I’ll still be going through rehab…I think I can overcome it.”

The same people who surround him now, surrounded him then and they’re the reason he won’t give up.

The family says they’re looking forward to spending time with Douglas and they’ve really missed his cooking!

They want all of Douglas’s doctors, nurses and staff who helped along the way to know how grateful they are for helping their “Pops” pull through.

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