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Lafayette ER doctor shares story of resilience after months-long battle with COVID-19

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Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 23:36:37-04

Dr. Grant Lashley, an ER doctor at Abbeville General, contracted the coronavirus in April and soon after, suffered a stroke. He was on a ventilator for 39 days, went through weeks of rehab at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston and was finally discharged from the hospital on Friday. Now, 24 hours after doctors and staff at Memorial Hermann celebrated his recovery, he's back home and busting a small move during a family dance party hosted by his three children.

"Everything is brighter, everything looks better, everything smells better...it's home," said Lashley.

Lashley's wife, Dr. Melissa Herrington, says her husband's recovery is nothing short of a miracle and wants everyone to know that there is hope.

"Just to sit across the table last night with each other and have a meal and to be able to talk to one another and see one another in person," she said. "There was a time when I couldn't see Grant for 40 days because he was in the COVID unit."

Lashley explained that while he was in the ICU, his family was having difficult conversations.

"There were discussions while I was in the ICU about, 'is it possibly time to remove life support?' To have a spouse have to discuss that, or family. I knew nothing about it, but it had to be discussed because it could have been a reality."

The couple's kids found their own way to hold onto hope - during the more than 90 days away from home, they asked to keep the family's home decorated for Easter until dad could return.

"He laughed and said, 'oh, it looks fantastic! I don't remember it looking that nice when we decorated it for Easter!'" laughed Dr. Herrington. "He enjoyed it."

Lashley's road to recovery is still a long one, but it's promising.

While in Houston, ABC News exclusively documented his time relearning basic motions.

"I've got to continue the progress and that's what my group in Texas started," he explained. "That's what their expectations are because they said they want me to walk in one day to see them."

"This is one of many thousands of stories like this," Lashley's attending physician, Dr. Nikola Dragojlovic told ABC's Kaylee Hartung. "Dr. Lashley had the benefit of being able to come to rehabilitation and was able to survive his illness and get access to this level of rehabilitation care. So many people who require these services don't have access to that."

Now, Lashley and his wife want people to know the novel coronavirus is real and is affecting people in Acadiana and around the world.

"It can make people mildly sick, it can make people severely sick, or it can kill people. We're not sure why it happens that way, but we have to practice safety measures."

Safety measures like social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing a face mask.

Click HERE for more of ABC's coverage on Dr. Lashley's recovery.

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