Pasco man, recovering from COVID-19, garners outpouring of support from community

PASCO, Wash. – It’s been 56 days since Mike Welch, from Pasco, has been home.

His daughter Amanda Welch said he started to feel ill before Thanksgiving. When the holiday rolled around, he took a turn for the worse.

“We realized how sick my dad was when he got to get out of the car to go into the emergency room and they asked him if he needed a wheelchair and he said ‘yes,'” Amanda said.

Welch was diagnosed with COVID-19 and underwent multiple treatments in the ICU, at a local hospital.

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Then, he texted everyone before getting intubated.

“Saying, you know, ‘alright well, they’re gonna do it, okay, I love you I’ll see you guys soon,'” Amanda recalled the message.

Mike spent 52 days fighting for his life, in the hospital. Eventually, his family was told to prepare for the worst case scenario.

“Basically, they felt like my dad was hopeless, you know, they wanted us to start making end of life decisions for him. My dad had fought this long for us, so we knew we had to start fighting for him because he’s just a great man,” his daughter said.

Thank goodness they fought; Welch was transferred to an acute care facility for respiratory recovery in Boise, Idaho.

“He’s still extremely weak; he’s not out of the woods at all but he’s making improvements,” Amanda said.

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After weeks of silence, Amanda and her mom finally heard Mike’s voice over the phone.

“Where there used to be so much silence and echo back, I love you, you know, it was amazing,” Welch said.

Amanda said they couldn’t have powered through without the community’s support. In just six days, the GoFundMe has received over $51,000 in donations.

Although Mike is still fighting, they’re positive he’ll return home.

“I’ve always known my dad is amazing. I’m surprised by it but I’m not, because my dad, even if you meet him for a second he’ll leave an imprint on your heart,” she said.

The family also encourages everyone to continue to mask up to prevent the spread and extreme cases like Mike’s.

A link to help the family can be found here. All the proceeds will help Mike’s medical costs from his lengthy stay in the ICU and now, acute care facility.