Huntingburg Native Thought He'd Die But Now Recovering From COVID-19, Parents Thankful


HUNTINGBURG -- A Dubois County native is improving, but still not out of the woods after learning he tested positive for COVID-19 in Connecticut.

"We're just very thankful," says Jeff Martindale’s mother, Judy of Huntingburg.  "We had a lot of people praying for Jeff," Judy tells WITZ Radio News, her voice quivering with emotion as she tried to find the words to express how awful the experience was.  "We were very upset.  My husband and I both were.  It's deadly.  That's the thing.  I think people are starting to realize, finally."

News Director David Shepherd spoke to Jeff by phone from Farmington, Connecticut where he lives.  He graduated from Southridge High School in Huntingburg in 1990 and IU in 1994. 

"The very first time in the hospital I was diagnosed with pneumonia.  It was a very severe case," Martindale explained.  "I was immediately taken to Intensive Care and a ventilator was put in my.... in my throat to help me breathe.  My fever was spiking.  My oxygen levels were dropping."

Martindale says he didn't find out he tested positive for COVID-19 until 15 days after getting off of the ventilator.

"I was...I was dead.  When I got put in that ventilator in that hospital.  Without the help of the nurses and doctors at U-CON Health in Farmington, I have no doubt I would have died in that hospital."

And this COVID patient’s mom has a word of advice for those not taking the virus seriously…

"I think people need to stay at a distance," says Jeff's mom, Judy.  "I think they need to listen to the scientists and the doctors not people that just have opinions about it or think they know."

Jeff tells us he is feeling better but still has a long journey head to recover physically and emotionally from the experience.

His mom emphasized that many prayers here in Dubois County for her son’s recovery were answered.