’I felt that death was inevitable:’ Coronavirus survivor talks about 2 days in the bathtub, unable to move

Man survives Covid-19 after two days paralyzed in tub

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - “They said, ‘You’re a miracle.’”

John Hardy thought he had taken all the precautions. He always wore a mask, stayed away from large groups, and consistently went to work and then went home, deviating only for an occasional trip to the grocery store or pharmacy.

He was at work at 100 Black Men of Jackson earlier this summer when his coworkers noticed he hadn’t been finishing his lunch. He admitted he really didn’t have much of an appetite. That afternoon, he got a rapid response Coronavirus test.

On the way home, he got the news that he was positive. Hardy spoke with his friend Darrell Neely, who said he was going to drop off some applesauce and bottled water on the front porch.

Hardy thought maybe a warm bath would make him feel better, so he took about a 20 minute soak. He unplugged the drain with his toe.

“And I started to get out of the tub. And I lost control of my limbs. And I literally couldn’t move,” Hardy said.

It didn’t pass either. He was stuck there, unable to help himself at all.

A single man, Hardy lives alone. His phone was in the other room, and there was also no getting to the water and applesauce on the porch for him.

“I sat there and I could hear the phone ringing and ringing,” he said.

Prayer was his best -- and only -- option.

“Unfortunately I stayed in the tub for two and a half days. An empty tub," he said. "I was getting dehydrated, I couldn’t use my hands or arms to even turn the water back on so I could have drinking water.”

Hardy says he fought sleep, afraid he wouldn’t wake up. It was dire. At one point, he began making peace with God.

“I’ve gotta be honest with you, I felt that death was inevitable,” he said quietly.

Neely and another friend, Jay Johnson, knew it wasn’t like Hardy not to answer the phone. Once they talked, they agreed to meet at Hardy’s house to check on him. Neely saw the applesauce and water on the porch and knew something was definitely wrong.

The two friends called police, and first responders broke down Hardy’s door. They quickly found him in the bathtub and began to administer fluids as he was severely dehydrated.

Hardy said the feeling of hearing his rescuers outside the door was unlike any other.

One of the paramedics told Hardy he may have had an hour of life left. As the fluids began to course through his system, he began to feel much better. Even as he left the scene, he was able to give Neely and Johnson a thumbs-up so they would know he was going to make it.

Hardy says he wants to make it clear that Coronavirus is very real. He says he also feels like he was granted his life for a reason.

“With me being rescued, in my mind, I was thinking that maybe the Lord was speaking to me and saying, ‘John, I’ve got more work for you to do,’” Hardy said.

On the outside of 100 Black Men of Jackson is a sign that says, “The Village,” referring to how it takes a village to save a child. In this case, Hardy had a village looking out for him, and it saved his life.

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