LaFollette man still recovering from COVID-19 after seven months in hospital

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One LaFollette man is still recovering from COVID-19 after being diagnosed with the virus nearly seven months ago.

Zack Lloyd said he had a pretty normal life before the virus tried to take it from him.

“I’ve been married to my wife going on 15 years in October, we had two kids, we were involved in our community, and worked on a normal work schedule,” he said.

Lloyd worked in Oak Ridge and lived in LaFollette but on Oct. 8, all of that changed.

“Felt kind of bad that day, called my wife, thought it was a sinus infection,” Lloyd explained, “Of course back in October there were a lot of COVID cases in Campbell, Knox, Anderson County region there and so when I got home the more I thought about it me and my wife talked about it and thought probably best to just go ahead and get the test.”

Not only did Zach’s COVID test come back positive, but so did the test for his wife and his daughter, Lilly. Zach though had the worst of it.

He explained what happened when they got to their local hospital,

“We got in, they automatically put me on oxygen. They transferred me from LaFollette to Oak Ridge on Sunday. All the beds there in Knoxville we’re pretty much full and so we were able to get into Oak Ridge and stay there about five or six days. Continue to progressively get worse and to be honest with you those last couple days in Oak Ridge from there until the time right before Christmas, I don’t remember anything,” he said.

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Zach was transferred to Vanderbilt Hospital in Middle Tennessee. His case was so severe he had to have a lung transplant.

Now, Zach is in rehabilitation learning how to walk and breathe on his own again.

“I’m just blessed to be here,” Zach said. “Thankful for answered prayers, but along with that, I am thankful for the medical staff and doctors there at Vanderbilt. They were awesome.” 

He said his driving force in his recovery is being back home with his family and feeling normal once again.

Zach is still recovering in Middle Tennessee, but he says he hopes to be back in East Tennessee by the end of the month.

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