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Your Healthy Family: Naples man on artificial lung after severe COVID-19 walks again

Posted at 7:41 AM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 07:41:46-05

NAPLES, Fla. — A Naples man who's been recovering from the effects of severe COVID-19 for more than three months, and is on an artificial lung at NCH Healthcare System's Downtown Baker Hospital, is now walking again.

Sean Hanley was just starting to talk again after being in a medically-induced coma when Fox 4 first talked to him in November.

"It's like starting over again,” Hanley said. "Walking felt good. It made me tired, using muscles I haven't used in 'x' amount of days. But it felt good to be able to do something."

"He's close to {walking} 50 feet, so that tells us about his strength," Dr. Gaston Cudemus, who's in charge of NCH's Cardiovascular ICU, said.

An artificial lung has been pumping oxygenated blood through Sean's body to give his own lungs a chance to recover.

"Either his lungs get better and we get him off the artificial lung, or he eventually may require bilateral lung transplantation," Dr. Cudemus said.

The artificial lung is portable, meaning it can move with Hanley as he starts to walk again.

"I have no doubt in my mind that he was going to do it, because he wants to get better," Dr. Cudemus said.

“What's your motivation and getting better right now?" Fox 4's Lisa Greenberg asked Hanley.

"I want to be around here for my kids and grandchild," Hanley said.

"He is driven by being there for his family, and I think that's just a beautiful message," Dr. Cudemus said.

Hanley is also able to eat regular meals again, like cheeseburgers, fries, eggs, and bacon.