PHOENIX — A father and son are speaking out urging the public to take the coronavirus seriously after both were hospitalized at the same time because of it.
Garette Craig Senior, 50, was hospitalized for several weeks, put on a ventilator and doctors gave him just a 23 percent chance of survival.
“They told me that my lungs were failing,” Craig Sr said. “They told me that if they don’t put me on this machine, I’m going to die.”
Garette Craig Junior, 30, was bedridden for about two weeks with a temperature above 102 degrees before deciding to go to the hospital, the same day as his father.
As Craig Jr recovered and was sent home to self-isolate, his father was placed on a ventilator and continued fighting for his life.
Now home and fully recovered, both men admit that they didn’t take COVID-19 seriously, and hope that others will listen to their message and take note.
“I was still going out, I wasn’t worried about anything,” Craig Jr said. “I made it a joke to be honest. When I got sick, I’ll have to say it was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. So I’d definitely tell people this thing is real.”
Craig Sr says it’s a miracle that the two are both alive and get to spend Father’s Day weekend together. He says he has had bronchitis several times in the past and thought at first that this was just another case of it. However, after taking all of the medication he was prescribed for it, he still wasn’t getting any better.
With advice from a family member who happened to be a nurse, both men went to the hospital together the same day they received positive test results for COVID-19.
Now fully recovered, both men wanted to share their story in hopes of getting people who aren’t taking precautions to take the virus, and its impacts, seriously.
“They think they’re invincible. They don’t think it’s going to affect them,” Craig Sr said. “Which is the way we thought initially. Until we became ill.”
Both encourage everyone to follow safety measures like washing your hands often, wearing a mask in public and social distancing.
The two plan to spend Father’s Day at home, together, with a new-found appreciation for life.
“Telling people that you love them,” Craig Sr said. “Being present in people’s lives. Tomorrow’s not promised.”