Working Past COVID: Pasco resident Miracle Mike shares his recovery experience

PASCO, Wash. – It was Thanksgiving 2020 when Pasco resident Mike Welch started to feel symptoms of COVID-19.

“One of the last memories I have is getting a text from the COVID department or whoever, that I had tested positive,” he said.

Mike, a generally healthy husband and father, was brought to Kadlec’s ER by his family, then his memory goes blank.

“I feel fortunate kind of that I don’t remember, you know? But then it’s also weird and kind of frustrating,” he explained.

Welch spent 53 days in a coma, intubated and received various treatments to fight off the virus.

In the meantime, his wife Rita and the rest of his family was told to prepare for the worst.

“Doctors were saying more than prepare for the worst, make decisions, is what I was told numerous times,” Rita Welch recalled.

As Mike fought for his life in the hospital, the community rallied around Rita and her family; a GoFundMe has reached over $66,000.

In February, Mike was transferred to Vibra Hospital in Boise, Idaho, where he woke up and realized what he had been through.

“I could hear them talking but I couldn’t remember what they were saying,” Mike said.

In the days following, Rita filled in the blanks for her husband and told him about the outpouring of support from the Tri-Cities community.

“I just had so much love and support pouring in, it was unbelievable and I don’t think I could’ve made it without all of that,” Rita said.

“The love and support that you get from everybody I mean, it’s crazy; it’s been a great thing,” Mike added.

Mike spent over a month recovering at the acute care hospital in Boise.

When it was time to leave, he was determined to take his first steps to recovery and walked right out of the hospital with his wife by his side.

Mike now goes to therapy to regain strength and return to a sense of his normal self. He said it’s hard for him to stand for long periods of time and there are many tasks that were once easy, that are now difficult.

“From being so physical and in decent shape, to not being able to walk or rollover in your bed or anything, it was tough,” he explained.

The husband and father said he couldn’t have done it without the community’s love, or his wife, who had to stay strong herself.

“I can’t describe how everybody, when I was falling, kept me up,” Rita said.

“Truly a miracle and my wife I mean she’s something special… she’s my angel, she mainly saved my life,” tears welled in Mike’s eyes.

Miracle Mike Welch is back home in Pasco, enjoying time with Rita, his children and grandchildren, proving that in a time of hardship miracles do happen.

“It was a miracle and I know that all those prayers that everybody was praying and all the prayer chains and all; he’s a miracle,” Rita said.

“I’m not sure if I’ll ever get back to 100 percent where I was at but I’m sure gonna try,” Miracle Mike will make a comeback.

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