89-Year-Old Veteran Wins Battle Against Covid-19

It's a reunion to remember. One Tri-State family is celebrating the release of one man who fought and won his battle against COVID-19.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 3:40 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2020 9:27 AM

It's a reunion to remember.

One Tri-State family celebrating the release of one man who fought and won his battle against COVID-19.

"We're just going to follow his lead and go at his pace," says Diane Unfried, George's sister.

For 89-year old George Meece of Spencer County, the last month has been anything but easy.

Meece thought he already made it through the battle of his lifetime, but now the Korean War Army veteran is recovering from the latest battle for his life.

"In Owensboro, two or three days that I thought he might not make it," says Unfried. "I know age was against him, but I didn't want the virus to get him."

George's first symptoms showing up late July.

He spent a little more than two weeks fighting the silent enemy.

"It just got worst and worst and again, at his age, he had his phone, he face timed with the kids a little bit, but for days he couldn't utter much more than "hi", "Yeah, I'm okay," but he didn't sound okay," says Unfried. "That was the worst part of all."

Once he was cleared of COVID-19, he then spent another two weeks working to get stronger each day.

"At his age at 89, he was able to really rehabilitate here in our hospital with physical and occupational therapy to get stronger to get back home," says Lauren Weil, Encompass Health Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital.

George was never on a ventilator, only oxygen, but he kept pushing through.

"Once I knew he had a turn around to feel, I could see the end would be better," says Unfried. "I mean he was just determined to make it then."

After 29 days, this soldier, finally getting to return home, overcoming just one more challenge.

"We're apprehensive of bringing him home, but we have the house ready, his bed ready, we're ready," says Unfried.

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It was another chilly start across the Tri-State; while we only dipped as low as 43° in Evansville, many others across the Tri-State fell into the upper 30s earlier this morning. The cool air didn't linger long however, temperatures quickly reached back into the mid 70s across the region this afternoon - higher pressure camped out over the southeastern quarter of the country will continue to keep the skies above the Tri-State clear while gradually driving temperatures higher over the next few days. Despite our anticipated southerly winds this evening, you may still want to grab a jacket before your head out to dinner; after seeing a temperature near 64° around dinnertime, we'll fall off toward the mid to upper 50s by 10 o'clock. Overnight lows will again dwindle into the mid to low 40s for the majority of the Ohio Valley early Tuesday morning.
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