'A long time coming:' Patient leaves WakeMed after being hospitalized with COVID-19 since July

Going home was something Martin Taylor dreamed about since first getting admitted into the hospital for COVID-19 back in July.

On Friday, Taylor was finally able to make his dream come true just in time for the holidays.

"I got butterflies," Taylor said. "It's been a long time coming."

Taylor's wife, Eugenia, called his homecoming a 'miracle' on Friday.

Taylor started experiencing COVID-19 symptoms over the summer and his case quickly escalated. Over the past five months, the Wake County resident has been transferred between WakeMed and Duke for treatment.

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During the first few months, Taylor was in and out of consciousness, received oxygen, underwent multiple procedures and was put on an advance form of life support.

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"For 69 days he had his blood leaving his body and going through an artificial lung to keep him alive," one of Taylor's doctors at Duke Health, Dr. Craig Rackley, previously told ABC11. "He is the longest survivor who has required ECMO for lung failure and did not need a transplant."

On Friday, Taylor left the WakeMed rehab facility with the ability to stand and walk again. He credits his family, his faith and his medical team for his recovery.

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"My wife was outside fighting and I was inside fighting so we just teamed up and worked it out," Taylor said. "It's been a really grateful and trying experience."

"I just give God all the glory for all that he has done as he worked through the doctors, the nurses, the caregivers," Eugenia Taylor said. "They are just amazing."

His fight against COVID-19 also offering inspiration to the medical team around him.

Taylor said he was most looking forward to surprising his two children.

While he won his battle with COVID-19, he wants to remind people to continue to practice preventive measures because the virus "is nothing to play with."

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"I just want people to really wear your mask and wash your hands and do six feet of distance," Taylor said.

Taylor has ongoing medical expenses due to his extended hospitalizations.
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