Hospitalized for 208 Days, Local COVID-19 Survivor Returns Home

LIVONIA – After 208 days in the hospital, Terry DiLaura was recently discharged from St. Mary Mercy Livonia.  It’s been a long, difficult journey for Terry, who, prior to his COVID-19 diagnosis in December 2020, had never been seriously sick or hospitalized in his life.  His seven month journey took him to many area hospitals and rehab facilities, and along the way he experienced many health setbacks.  Eventually, he ended up at St. Mary Mercy, a hospital he says was “by far the best I had been to.”

When he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December, it developed into a very serious illness.  He was put on a ventilator and his prognosis was not good.  Physcians at another area hospital told him that “he wasn’t expected to walk or talk ever again.”

From the beginning Terry’s wife Mary never gave up hope.  She was his strongest advocate.  According to Terry, Mary provided a mix of love and a “a good ol’ fashion cracking of the whip” to make sure he was doing everything he had to do to get better.

There were many difficult nights along the way.  Due to visitor restrictions, Mary couldn’t see her husband for 72 days.  During that time she would park in the parking lot of the hospital, so that she could be close to him, and she would Zoom him from her car.

Had it not been for Mary and all of Terry’s nurses and doctors at St. Mary Mercy, he very well might not be alive today.

On Thursday, July 1, Terry was discharged home from St. Mary Mercy Livonia to the applause of his team of caregivers, all of whom came together to organize his sendoff.

Looking forward, Terry is working as hard to improve his walking and stability so that he can return to work at General Motors.

“I’m working as hard as I can to be the best I can be so that I can go back to work,” he said.  “I want to go back to work where I can retire on my own terms.  I want to walk back in there on my own two legs.”

With enormous gratitude and humility, Terry went on to say, “I have a new lease on life and I don’t intend to take anything for granted anymore.”

The entire team at St. Mary Mercy Livonia wishes Terry well on his journey.  We all continue to pray for him, and cheer on his recovery.