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Cudahy man released after 111 days in hospital following COVID-19 diagnosis

Posted at 4:11 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 19:08:57-04

CUDAHY, WI — It was a long, hard-fought fight for Joe Kaebisch, 63. He was released from the hospital Wednesday after fighting off COVID-19 and other conditions once enhanced by the virus.

He admits that he isn’t in the best shape, but after 111 days, he is back home, victorious after the biggest fight of his life.

"I don't know who it was more difficult for. Me, who had to go through the physical ailments or my wife who couldn't have her husband,” Kaebisch said.

For nearly four months, his family held signs and kept home. They waited patiently for the father and grandfather to return home.

“I knew my goal was to get back home,” Kaebisch said.

Joe was admitted into the hospital in March. His daughter Jodie, was admitted a day later. She also stayed overnight.

"When I went in, I got put on oxygen for four days,” Jodie Kaebisch said.

The Kaebisch family said it took COVID-19 very seriously. Joe said he stopped going to the supermarket. The virus, somehow, still managed to infiltrate the home of seven at the time.

Only Joe and Jodie were hospitalized. Others said they felt symptoms at one point or another.

"At the end of the week, everybody was getting better but I was getting worse,” Joe Kaebisch said.

Joe said a bad head cold and chest cold from COVID-19 complications eventually led to more serious issues with his heart and kidneys.

He was sedated by doctors for several weeks. He had to learn how to walk again in a rehab facility soon after.

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"Three weeks later, I'm waking up and they're pulling the tube out of my throat,” he recounted.

"I had no muscles. I couldn't lift a cup of water to my mouth. It was that bad,” Joe Kaebisch said.

Now, he’s back home. The family is COVID-19 free and Joe Kaebisch said he’s going to enjoy his new lease on life at age 63.

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The Kaebisch family said it is holding a drive-through parade to celebrate Thursday.

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