BLAKELY, Ga. (WDHN) — Jerome Ealey was a healthy and strong 48-year-old when COVID-19 changed his life forever.

“We really don’t have an idea of where I contracted the virus from, I got sick on a Friday afternoon at work, and it kind of progressed on that Saturday and my wife decided that I needed to go to the hospital because my fever wouldn’t go down,” said Jerome Ealey, COVID-19 survivor.

Ealey was in the hospital for 32 days after being admitted on Saturday March 14th, for what they thought was pneumonia. He was tested on a Sunday and received the positive test results Tuesday, March 17th at which point his health quickly declined.

“Thursday the 19th is when he really took a turn for the worst, he couldn’t keep his oxygen level up, and that’s when they intubated him on that Thursday and I had to leave the hospital,” said Ealey’s wife, Temonica Ealey.

While her husband was intubated and, in a coma, she received updates on his health over the phone from the staff at Southeast.

“I was kinda unknown to this whole situation up to this point so I didn’t really have a take on what was going on, “said Jerome Ealey, COVID-19 survivor.

Ealey was intubated for 21 days. They tried to extubate him but his heart rate was too high and they had to put him back on the machine for 7 days.

“Once they took him off of the second time he was not Jerome in a sense, we had to medicate him as far as him to come off some of the medication because he did go through a hard time,” Temonica Ealey said.

Jerome was given Remdesivir, and the family does believe that they saw improvements in his health after that.

“What they told us was that he was actually the first case of COVID that was properly treated because it was not in this area at the time,” Ealey’s wife said.

The Ealey family has pushed forward and continues to choose faith or fear every day.