Man With COVID-19 Beats Odds by Surviving a Record 165 Days on Ventilator

Jack Ghiz's family prepared for the worst when he was placed on a ventilator early this year. Remarkably, the 54-year-old survived. But as he tells Inside Edition, he's not out of the woods yet.

For COVID-19 patients, being placed on a ventilator is not a good sign. In fact, the mortality rate for those put on ventilators with the virus is between 50 and 65%.

But amid the dismal odds are incredible stories of survival, including that of one man who was on a ventilator for a record 165 days, yet still survived.

Jack Ghiz, 54, fell ill with COVID-19 last Christmas. By Jan. 2, he was admitted to the hospital, where he remained for more than seven months. His wife Amy says she was on the verge of giving up hope, and his family started planning for his funeral.

“I was mentally preparing, because we just didn't know and we weren’t given any kind of hope at all. They had pretty much told us that he would never survive this,” Amy said.

Jack’s daughter, Alisha, even wrote his obituary

“He loved traveling and truly enjoyed life to its fullest. His heart and hugs were as big as his personality, and he was always willing to help others. Jack will be deeply missed by all who knew him,” it said.

Alisha says she was “very, very close” to having to read it.

Jack says he has no memory of being on the ventilator, but he does recall having vivid dreams. One in particular was an adventure with his brothers.

“My brothers were flying a plane, and it was almost like they were wanting to get rid of me. I remember, I didn't have a passport and my license had expired, and I didn't have my birth certificate. And we were overseas and they pushed me out of a plane onto a rooftop,” Ghiz said.

Ghiz’s family was there the entire time, filling his hospital room with photos and cards in the expectation that if he woke up, he would be surrounded by love. 

Now, he's finally back home. In the ordeal, he lost over 100 pounds and his body is still very weak. He still struggles with daily tasks, like walking, eating and breathing.

“There's still a possibility, I may not make it. You're not out of the woods, until you're out of the woods. And I’ll be in the woods for as long as up to another year and half, because of the damage that’s been done to my respiratory system from COVID,” Ghiz said.

Ghiz plans on getting the vaccine as soon as doctors give him the go-ahead.

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