Lawrenceburg man shares rare look into months long COVID-19 fight from ICU bed

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Chris Williams fights to live every day since contracting COVID-19 four months ago.

“Scared to death is an understatement,” said his wife Crystal, a nurse practitioner who knows all too well the challenges facing her husband. “It’s very hard to be positive with knowing what [I] know.”

His three children, 22-year-old Tyler, 21-year-old Bailey, and 19-year-old Bella also feel the strain.


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“There were times we didn’t know if he was going to make it, not a week, not a month, but 15 more minutes. And that’s scary,” said Tyler.

Yet somehow the Lawrenceburg man found the will to welcome us into his room in the intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and whisper two words.

“Thank you,” mouthed Chris.

“Oh, you are so welcome,” I responded, “Thank you for allowing me to be here.”


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Chris’s journey is far from over. Despite no major underlying health conditions, he spent 14 weeks hooked to two circuits of a respiratory machine known as ECMO.

“It’s takes the blood,” Crystal explained, “Pulls out the carbon dioxide and adds back oxygen and puts it back into his right neck.”

His muscles have weakened to the point where sitting up is a struggle. His fingers turned black from lack of oxygen. It’s unclear if his lungs will ever heal. But one thing is clear to the entire family.

“Life is very, very short,” Crystal said, “You should not take it for granted, and you treasure every moment.”


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They’re giving thanks to the medical staff, and community, which has rallied around them during this difficult time.

“If we ever wondered if there are good people in the world, now we know because people are so selfless,” said Crystal.

They’re praying for another miracle as Chris has already overcome the odds.

“Ultimately,” Bella said, “I think it’s up to him and God.”


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And if you ask Chris, his will to live is greater than the obstacles facing him.

“Are you determined, my friend?” I asked, as Chris shook his head and whispered, “yes.”

Crystal has stopped working to be by Chris’ beside. Friends started a fundraiser to help the family with expenses, click here if you would like to help.

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