A family from southern Manitoba is grateful for the incredible recovery of their father after an almost year long stay in the hospital.
"In 2021 around December my dad was actually diagnosed with COVID and he ended up in a pretty bad state," says Stephanie Karalash from Blumenort. "He got sicker and sicker and then they put him to sleep."
Guy Bouvier, Karalash's dad, from St. Pierre-Jolys was unconscious as his body tried to fight off the virus for a few months.
"When he woke up, he pretty much had everything wrong with him. There were a lot of surgeries he had to come through."
Bouvier had his memory intact but because of the damage from COVID and complications in the ICU, he had to learn how to walk and talk again.
"We were there by his side. At first, we weren't actually allowed to be in the hospital because of the restrictions so we set up video calls, talking to him. It was a really long road."
It's been a slow and steady climb for the Bouvier family to watch their dad recover after battling COVID. He lost roughly 100 lbs during the time he was bedridden.
"It's pretty much a miracle that he's been able to overcome everything he's been through and how his body recovered by the grace of God, and prayers from family and our community."
After 10 months in the hospital and fighting to live, Bouvier is back at home and walking. Both of these things the doctors didn't know if he'd be able to do.
"My faith has never been so strong. It seems like every time we thought, okay he's good, something bad would happen and we'd go, 'No, we're good. God has our back.' It's changed us as a family and the people around us. People have come to God and closer to God because of his story."
"My dad wants to give a shout-out to the wonderful people at Bethesda Hospital [in Steinbach] for the care he received during that critical time. In particular the physiotherapy staff in the rehab dept with their skillful guidance and who without their herculean efforts dad wouldn't be walking today."
Karalash is asking people to continue praying for her dad as he has one more main hurdle to overcome.
"He's got neuropathy because when they gave him medication to heal his vital organs and give them oxygen, it took oxygen away from his hands and feet."
Neuropathy is a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), and often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. Bouvier has pain and tingling in his hands and feet which makes it hard to walk and grab things.
"Thank God he's alive and almost back to his old self. It's because of faith and knowing that God has us, He's got his back and able to bring him back to us."
The treatment for neuropathy isn't covered by Manitoba Health. The Bouvier family has set up a GoFundMe page for anyone interested in helping with the cost, totalling $6,500.
"We do need help and constant prayer as well. You can't just stop when things are going good. You keep praying and keep thankful for the prayer."