COVID-19 survivor returns home after 296 days in hospital

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 09, 2021

CONWAY, S.C. -- Dan Thompkins is back home with a new outlook on life after spending nearly 300 days in the hospital recovering from COVID-19.

Dan Thompkins: "I've been in bed at night and just cried myself to sleep because I thought I was a burden to my family,” Thompkins said with tears in his eyes.

He said when he got home he wanted to walk over to his daughter and give her a big hug and realized he couldn’t.

“If I had tried, I would have ended up on the floor because what I perceive I can't do and that is so hard to grasp,” Thompkins recalled.

After 296 days in hospitals receiving treatment, he rode home in a limo to Conway, South Carolina. Along the way, people lined the road cheering for him.

His wife, Carolyn Thompkins, says the last year has been an emotional roller coaster.

"Everything would be good and a few hours later we're getting a phone call that his heart rate dropped into the 20s or 30s and they weren't expecting him to make it."

Dan says after his months-long hospital stay and continued recovery, he can’t understand the hesitation some people have about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s able to help people, do it,” he said.

Thompkins is looking forward to mastering walking up the ramp to his front door, getting back to his photography hobby, and spending time in person with his family.