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COVID-19 patient in critical care discharged from Mercy Medical Center

Larry Potter leaves Mercy Medical Center after undergoing treatment for COVID-19. (Marlon Hall/KCRG)
Larry Potter leaves Mercy Medical Center after undergoing treatment for COVID-19. (Marlon Hall/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 1:16 PM CDT
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Staff at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids on Monday gave a big send-off to the first COVID-19 patient to be released from critical care.

Larry Potter, 65, has been in the hospital since March 29.

Potter said he started feeling sick about a week before he went to the doctor. Later, a test showed he had pneumonia, a byproduct of COVID-19.

He spent two days on a ventilator and was in critical care for nine days before going to Mercy's Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. Doctors treated him with mostly just oxygen until he could breathe on his own again, about four days ago.

"On day one, my wife told me that she wasn't sure if I was going to make it from the parking lot to the hospital," he said.

Now, he's feeling much better.

"I'm on top of the world today," he said. "I feel like I could jog out the door."

He said he plans on returning to a bit of normalcy.

"I wanna see the kids," he said. "And I'm gonna do a little cycling indoors with the exercise bike. I'll be back to myself in no time."

Potter strongly urges people to follow social distancing guidelines. He said if you have a fever and can't breathe to talk to your doctor.

WATCH: After being in critical care for COVID-19, Larry Potter is Mercy Medical Center’s first patient to be discharged from the inpatient rehab unit! Congrats, Larry!

Posted by KCRG-TV9 on Monday, April 13, 2020

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