‘Never did I think I would be where I was’: 61-year-old wrestling coach’s fight against COVID-19

‘Never did I think, I would be where I was’: 61-year-old wrestling coach’s fight against COVID-19

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A 61-year-old wrestling and mixed martial arts coach in Gufport is still recovering after a lengthy battle with COVID-19.

It’s a fight Mark Morgan says has given him a new outlook on life.

“Never did I think I would be where I was, helpless with all the help that I needed,” said Morgan.

Mark Morgan two months after leaving the ICU. Morgan lost 30 pounds in his fight against COVID-19.
Mark Morgan two months after leaving the ICU. Morgan lost 30 pounds in his fight against COVID-19. (Source: WLOX)

In the beginning, Morgan’s symptoms were mild, but six days after testing positive, he said that all changed.

“All of a sudden on the 13th of January, I just went into this dark hole of pneumonia,” he said. “It filled my lungs and the ambulance came and got me on that Thursday morning.”

Over the next two weeks, Morgan lost 30 pounds while in the ICU at Memorial Hospital. Unable to see his wife or kids, the healthcare workers began to feel like a second family and one nurse in particular built a special bond with Morgan.

“He encouraged me and he motivated me,” said Morgan. “He was comfortable enough that he stepped out of his professional nursing career and he became a motivator and a coach, and it was something I needed.”

Two months later, Morgan said he now has a new outlook on life.

“My spirit is different. I feel renewed, I feel born again,” said Morgan. “I feel like I’m an opportunist now.”

Mark Morgan is back at home with his wife while he continues his recovery.

We’ll hear more stories of hope, survival and loss as we look back at the pandemic over the last year. Tune in at 6:30 p.m., March 11, on CBS to watch WLOX’s special report, Mississippi Tested: The COVID Fight Now and in the Future.

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