PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A police officer from Tennessee who has been battling COVID-19 for months has reached a major milestone. He was brought to Florida as a last resort and received treatment that helped save his life.
Sean Finn took his first steps after spending four months fighting to survive at HCA Florida JFK Hospital, and fighting to overcome the effects of COVID-19.
"I mean it's a true miracle. There's no other word for it," said Lauren Finn, Sean's wife.
Lauren Finn is celebrating her birthday by her husband's side. She's been balancing time at the hospital and back home with their two young daughters in Tennessee.
"I feel good. I'm just trying to figure out how to get me home," said Sean Finn.
Sean is a police officer in Franklin, Tennessee. Both Sean and Lauren were not vaccinated and started feeling sick around Christmas. Lauren had mild symptoms, but Sean was admitted to the hospital on New Year's Day.
Seven days later, he was placed on a ventilator.
"On Jan. 14, they moved me from Tennessee and they flew me to JFK," Sean said.
He came here for life-saving treatment — a last resort. He was hooked up to an ECMO machine, essentially an artificial lung.
"It's similar to a dialysis machine, but instead of cleaning out toxins, the ECMO machine gives oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide," said Dr. Daniel Bali.
At one point, Lauren gathered family members, thinking the end could be near.
"We all had a care meeting and then it was that day he started opening his eyes," Lauren said.
Sean spent more than 80 days on the ECMO, and amazingly, he was taken off the machine this week.
"Everybody says this is the new normal and everything now. Well my new normal is what you're looking at, but it's been a blessing in disguise," Sean said.
This young couple is receiving support from family and their community as this virus continues to linger.
"The biggest thing I learned, it doesn't care if you're young, healthy, sick," Sean said.
Sean is hoping to be discharged soon, but he will still need rehab to build up his strength. Doctors said a lung transplant is still possible, but his progress is inspiring.