The father of former Maryland offensive lineman Ellis McKennie III has been released from the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Ellis McKennie Jr. was admitted to the hospital on March 18 after falling ill and being diagnosed with pneumonia. Doctors tested McKennie Jr. on March 21 for COVID-19 and the result was positive, which was enhancing the impact from pneumonia.
“It was an interesting situation, I was still here in College Park when he went to the hospital, so my mom and sister, just in case, started their quarantine the day he went,” McKennie III told ESPN. “So I couldn’t go back to the house and be with them while he was in the hospital for that two-week period. When it started to get worse, I drove up to my aunt’s house, which is in the same town as where my parents live, and was there for two weeks.”
Initially, McKennie III was able to talk to his father over the phone every day for the first three to four days after his father was admitted and diagnosed. His breathing eventually started to deteriorate, however, and McKennie Jr. was moved to the ICU unit on March 23.nfl jerseys nike cheap
Only a short time after that, he was put on a ventilator and put into an induced coma.
“There were a couple times before they took him out of the coma, nurses had taken the phone in to FaceTime, so maybe he could hear our voices,” McKennie III said. “But it was tough for us. Just seeing him struggle, that was difficult.”
His prognosis improved, though, and just this past week McKennie Jr. came out of the coma and off of the ventilator. The hospital surprised the family by calling and telling them someone wanted to speak with them before putting McKennie Jr. on the phone.nfl nike jerseys cheap
Only thinking he had been under for two days, instead of the 15 days he had been in the induced coma, McKennie Jr. wasn’t fully aware of how serious his case had been. Once the doctors explained his timeline and the series of events, he understood all that had happened in his time at the hospital.
Knowing his father was recovering and would make it through, McKennie III decided to try to prank his father.
“I had seen some people saying funny stuff, like he’s a big Eagles fan, so someone told me to tell him it’s January and the Eagles went 0-16,” McKennie III said. “I wanted to go for a more real one, so I said, ‘Dad, you believe the Terps won the national championship? They beat Duke.’ Because he can’t stand Duke, either.
“He goes, ‘Ellis, I wasn’t out that long. They canceled the tournament before they put me out.’ It was worth a shot.”
The family had hoped to get McKennie Jr. out of the hospital by his 52nd birthday on April 19 and they found out he would be able to come home ahead of that schedule. He was released Monday to applause from family and medical officials.