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Oklahoma man returns home after more than 500 days battling COVID-19

Posted at 9:31 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 23:08:44-04

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma man is finally home on Tuesday after spending almost two years in and out of Tulsa hospitals battling COVID-19.

John Rampey spent 512 days away from home after contracting COVID-19 only two weeks before he would've been eligible for a vaccine in December 2020.

"People shouldn't forget about the COVID because it's for real," Rampey says. "Some people have got it and slid through it without any problems and I've always been strong and been able to slide through different illnesses, but this one here got me,"

Rampey survived two COVID-19 infections, intubation and a stroke.

"It's tough," Rampey's daughter Becky West says. "It's been a roller coaster of emotions, of-we feel like we're going up and things are going well and then the floor drops out several times," she says.

His family spent every day they could with him in the hospitals and rehab facilities during the height of the pandemic.

"You just feel defeated," West says. "Like I don't feel like we're ever going to get out of this and are we ever going to be able to move past it? What is the future going to look like? And it took a lot of faith."

The family says that faith has been tested several times over those 512 days of care.

"We've had doctors tell us we don't think that there's anything we can do-one day it would be terrible and the next day we're back on a good direction," says Rampey's son Chris.

John Rampey's wife Judy eventually gave he husband an ultimatum.

"I finally told him one day I said, 'I'm not going to say this again, but I had the 8-year-old [grandson] with me-if you can't do it for me, do it for her because she still needs her paw paw,'" Judy Rampey said.

The virus put John Rampey in a wheelchair, but he's finally able to be with his family at home.

"Just do it one day at a time," Rampey says. "I've got a big workshop back there. I want to get there next week and just sit and gaze at it,"

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