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January 26, 2021 - 4:05pm

Hodgins family counts blessings after 'miracle' COVID-19 recovery after two grueling months

posted by Virginia Kropf in covid-19, news.

Mike Hodgins may have just won the biggest battle of his life.

The Medina resident is the husband of Kathy Hodgins, chief clinical officer at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in Batavia. On Monday, Kathy and their children, Greg Hodgins and Alisha Duffina, picked up Mike when he was discharged from Buffalo Mercy Hospital, after spending two months there battling COVID-19.

Mike, 59, is also a heart transplant patient of 30 years, and when he entered Buffalo Mercy on Nov. 28, doctors said he would need a miracle to survive.

“The last time I saw Mike was when I dropped him off at the door of Medina Memorial Hospital two days after Thanksgiving,” Kathy said. “Because of COVID restrictions, I couldn’t even go in with him.”

Mike was transferred to Buffalo Mercy that night, the only hospital in the area they could find with a bed in ICU available.

He spent the first three weeks on a ventilator, during which time his blood pressure would drop dangerously low, and doctors feared kidney failure. He also developed abdominal bleeding and his epiglottis became paralyzed, making him unable to take any nourishment by mouth. He still has had no food or beverage and gets his nourishment from a tube in his stomach.

Kathy said Mike contracted COVID from her, and she isn’t sure where she got it.

When she learned Mike was well enough to leave Mercy but would need a week to 10 days of rehab at Medina Memorial, she was insistent that she pick him up and transport him there.

She and Mike sat in the back seat, hugged and held hands all the way to Medina, while daughter Alisha drove.

Kathy said it was their faith that brought Mike through his ordeal. Even in his sedated state, she said she knew he could hear her voice, and she would call the hospital every day and ask the nurse to put the phone to Mike’s ear. 

“I called him every single day he was on the respirator and told him I loved him,” Kathy said. “Then I prayed with him every day.”

She said not being able to see your loved one who is so sick is the most powerless feeling in the world, and although Mike has lost a lot of weight and looked unkempt with a beard, long hair and untrimmed fingernails, he never looked better to her. 

“It’s been quite a journey,” she said.

The family was joined by Mike’s brother and sister after he got to Medina Memorial Hospital, where they could wave to him in the window.

Top photo: Greg Hodgins watches as his mother Kathy Hodgins, chief clinical officer at GCASA in Batavia, waves as she spots her husband Mike being wheeled out of Buffalo Mercy Hospital on Monday afternoon. 

Below: Mike Hodgins has tears in his eyes as he sees his wife Kathy, for the first time since Nov. 28. Mike spent two months in Buffalo Mercy Hospital recovering from COVID-19.

Bottom: ​The Hodgins family gathers around Mike Hodgins as he is released from Buffalo Mercy Hospital. From left are son Greg Hodgins, wife Kathy, chief clinical officer at GCASA, and daughter Alisha Duffina. 

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