MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis COVID-19 survivor is now back to living a fairly normal life, but it was an uphill battle after experiencing several health complications while in the hospital.
Two months ago, William Kiser fell ill.
"I started to get weak like I was going to fall out," he remembers.
The 75-year-old began to feel so weak that his family had to send him to the emergency room at Methodist.
"I used to have pneumonia. I thought maybe it was just some pneumonia, or allergies. I never did think it was the virus," Kiser said
But he had in fact contracted coronavirus.
Kiser felt disoriented as medics hooked him up to an IV. He did all he could do at the time.
“I just went to praying," he said.
It is hard for him to recall what happened next. He took a turn for the worst. His kidneys shut down, he underwent vascular surgery, he was going into respiratory failure and he had a life threatening GI bleed.
After about four weeks, he was able to push though enough to be sent to Encompass Health to begin recovery.
It is where he met Dr. Leslie Leicht, a physical medicine specialist.
“Mr. Kiser came here. He was extremely weak. Short of breath with minimal activity” Dr. Leicht explained.
Dr. Leicht was by Kiser's side as he underwent weeks of physical therapy to regain his ability to move.
“He was constantly optimistic. When you thought about what he had been through it was actually quite amazing,” Dr. Leicht said.
Now, Kiser's prayers are answered and he is reunited with his granddaughters.
Dr. Leicht wants people to know that the virus, which she said is highly contagious, does not only affect the lungs.
“The complications of coronavirus are more far reaching," Leicht said.