Flu patient out of coma, ICU, marries love of his life

Published on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 22:51 - Written by Courtney Friedman, KYTX CBS19

TYLER — It’s the incredible story of resilience for a Tyler flu patient who was in a coma for two weeks.

38-year-old Will Goodson has finally been moved out of the ICU at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. He’s alert and awake and ready to share his story.

“I remember waking up and family members being around me,” Goodson said

Late last week, Goodson came fully off of the sedation that had kept him in a medically induced coma for two weeks.

“I have people tell me all the time how lucky I am,” he said.

A lot of things happen when you realize you have a second chance at life, but the very first thing he after waking up was marry the love of his life, right there in the hospital bed.

Then, many more firsts followed. He beat his doctor for the first time in rock, paper scissors, and Wednesday he took his first bite of real food in over a month.

“A chili cheese dog from Weinerland! Mmmm,” he said.

In between the moments of joy and laughter, he thinks about the reality of what he went through. He thinks about the fact that he almost lost his life.

“You can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s the flu. People get it every year. It’s bad of course, but you never expect this. I’m 38, never been in a hospital before.”

Doctors said it was a ventilation machine called an oscillator that saved Will’s life.

It’s usually only used to help premature babies breathe, but Will’s team of doctors decided to take a leap of faith, and for that, he said he is eternally thankful.

That word, thankful, brings tears to the survivor’s eyes.

“I’m thankful for my family, that I got a second chance at life. Hopefully I can make this one count for something. You know? it happened for a reason,” Goodson said.

He knows the road to full recovery will be long, but surrounded by his loved ones and lifesavers, he considers it a battle he’s already won.

Soon, doctors will take the trach tube out of Goodson’s neck, because he’s breathing on his own.

The biggest issue is that he’s still in kidney failure and on dialysis.

Doctors said his kidneys could eventually regain function, but it’s a waiting game. It’s still possible he could permanently remain on dialysis.