Raleigh man credits Duke respiratory therapists for saving him from COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- This week celebrates respiratory therapists and the care they provide their patients.

A Raleigh man said it's because of a respiratory therapist team that he survived COVID-19 and said honoring them for one week is just not enough.

Jimmy Hartloff and his family were all diagnosed with COVID-19 in January.

But Hartloff would feel the full wrath of the illness.

He had to be intubated and put in a coma at Duke Hospital for nearly three months.

"To know my daughters were without me, I was not home for 73 days, I was gone. So just to think about them, without me. And me without them, It was, it was tough," he said.

There came a point when his wife and two daughters thought he would not come home.

But Hartloff did wake up, and he is back home with his family.

He credited the team at Duke for its outstanding work.

A respiratory therapist leader, Andrew Almond, said this work is the hardest of his career and while not every story is like that of Hartloff's, he is proud of his team nonetheless.

"The teammates that I work with and the colleagues I work with, they're just outstanding," Almond said. "And it's just a joy to be able to be a part of that. And to watch these patients walk out of here to see the difference that we've made in their lives, and the difference they make in our lives,.

Hartloff said he is appreciative every day. He now takes any opportunity to tell his story and thank health care workers for their hard work.
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