Otsego Co. First Responder Battling COVID-19 Released From Hospital
Doug Fopma had been in Munson Grayling battling COVID-19 for over a month.
“It’s been unbelievable,” said Stacy Shafto, Doug’s significant other. “He got so bad they actually came to pick him up.”
Doug was admitted to the hospital on March 28, battling COVID-19.
“Our facility has never had a patient this sick,” said Dr. John Davis, physician at Munson Grayling.
It was a tough few weeks for Doug’s family.
“They called us to basically say goodbye, we said ‘we need you to fight’ and we begged him to come home to us and we thought though that might be it,” Stacy said. “Later that night the nurse called and said we’re not giving up on Doug.”
It also meant weeks of worry for Doug’s EMS family too…
“It’s been a roller coaster,” said Otsego County EMS Chief Jon Deming. “It’s been a real stress on us, we have had 8 positive people, they’ve got through it.”
After over three weeks on a ventilator, Doug was finally well enough to be discharged…
“It’s going to be very emotional for sure, he hasn’t seen any of us in 47 days,” Stacy said. “That was the worst part.”
Monday, he didn’t just leave the hospital, he finally got to see the friends, family, and fellow first responders who hoped and prayed this day would come.
“Today’s a very special day,” Deming said. “This is fantastic.”
“You don’t realize how many wonderful people are around you until something like this happens and we’re so grateful,” Stacy said.
“Just to see him be on a ventilator for three weeks and come off, it was very emotional for us, for all of us,” Dr. Davis said.
Now Doug’s on to his next step in recovery, heading to rehabilitation downstate, surrounded by his fellow first responders on the way.
“We just love the support of the communities, not just Otsego County but the Crawford County neighbors did a fantastic job,” Deming said.
And the celebration isn’t over just yet…
“We can’t wait to get him home for good, and when he comes, we’re having a big party, maybe a social distancing party but it’s going to be a big party,” Stacy said.