North Texas COVID-19 Survivor Hospitalized for 4 Months and Feels Blessed Over Thanksgiving – CBS Dallas/Fort Worth

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – On Thursdays, families gather to celebrate what they have and what they can be thankful for.

For a growing number of them, it’s life itself after surviving severe attacks with COVID-19.

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Sue and Billy Szendrey will be sitting in their favorite chairs on Thanksgiving and that’s enough for this couple who’s been through so much.

“I’m thankful now that when I look back, he’s there, because he wasn’t there for a long time,” said Sue.

Sue and Billy Szendrey with their dog (CBS 11).

Last year, Billy was away from his chair and on a hospital bed for four months, clinging to life because of COVID-19.

He was on a ventilator for seven weeks and only reached an important milestone today, 16 months after he left the hospital.

“Just finished my therapy today with Baylor Scott and White here in Grapevine,” said Billy.

The 65-year-old had to relearn how to get up and later train his legs to walk again.

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On Thursday, November 25, he will gather for the first Thanksgiving dinner with his wife, children and extended family for the first time in two years.

“I just want to say how grateful I am that as a family of four we are still a family of four after what he’s been through,” said Sue.

“I feel great,” Billy said. “My lung function has gone from less than 60% to almost 75%.”

Billy has yet to use his right hand completely.

No one would blame him for being resentful and asking, “Why me?”

But he’s only counting his blessings, knowing how long COVID-19 will affect others.

“They still have breathing problems, they can’t walk, they can’t really get around and I’m over that, so I’m really thankful for that,” Billy said.

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And to sit back in his chair next to his wife of 32 years.

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