WEATHERSFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – As First News continues to track COVID-19, we wanted to share a story of recovery and hope.
A man from Weathersfield Township beat the virus, but it was a long, hard journey.
Dale Havaich spent 10 days on a ventilator. During that time, he remembers seeing his late father in a dream.
“I said, Dad, I’m ready to come home. Just bring me home. I can’t fight this anymore,” Haviach said. “My dad looked at me and said, ‘Dale, you can’t home yet,’ he said, ‘you still have work to do.'”
Dale was diagnosed with COVID-19 in June. He said it was the hardest thing he has ever been through. Within days of testing positive, he couldn’t even walk. Dale’s wife, Debby, was terrified and didn’t want to take him to the hospital.
“She was a little resistant at first. I think because she was scared and at one point had said, ‘I just don’t want him to die alone,'” said Kathy Seese, lead medical assistant with Howland Primary Care-Mercy Health.
Kathy was the calming voice on the other end of the phone and convinced Debby to call an ambulance.
“Thank you, thank you. You think it is a little part, but you don’t know how big of a part you played,” Debby told Kathy.
Kathy helped Debby stay calm and kept her updated throughout the entire process on Dale’s recovery since she couldn’t see her husband in person.
“Every part of Mercy Health was nothing but positive for me,” Dale said. “Their compassion and their care for me and what they did for me, and how they treated me, and how they treated my family was nothing but top-shelf.”
“It’s hard to find a happy story sometimes, so this just warms my heart,” Kathy said.
The other person Dale credits with saving his life is Doctor Vijaykumar Shah, his primary care physician at Mercy Health. He calls him his hero.
“Dr. Shah wasn’t just my doctor, he’s my friend. He cared about me. He cared about my family, and I’ll never forget that,” he said.
Dale Havaich spent 43 days in the hospital with COVID-19 and is still recovering. This is his message to others.
“Wear a mask and social distance when you are out in public. You have a right to put yourself at risk, but you don’t have the right to put me at risk. Wear your mask. If not for you, for the rest of us.”
But even through all the pain and all the fear, Dale looks back on his journey and hopes he can give comfort to others.
“I believe with all my heart there is a heaven. And after this experience, I can guarantee you they’re waiting for us. The people that went before us are happy and waiting for us. I’m not ready to go to the party yet, but I’m not afraid.”
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