Colorado kindergarten teacher in recovery after being in ICU with COVID-19

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:46 PM MST
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - A kindergarten teacher from Sunset Park Elementary is in recovery after spending seven days in the ICU due to the Coronavirus. Derek Flowers has been teaching in the district for 15 years and cannot wait to get back to his students.

Flowers and his family decided to get tested for COVID-19 after his son tested positive. His test came back with the same results.

When Derek went into the hospital, doctors told him he had mild COVID-19 symptoms. After just 24 his condition took a turn for the worse. Flowers was put on a BiPAP machine and had COVID pneumonia in both lungs.

“I was in the hospital having so many health complications; trouble breathing, trouble sleeping, just a headache and back pain,” Flowers explained. “I knew that this was a very serious virus and illness.”

While Flowers was in the hospital his wife was quarantined in her home with her three boys. She tells 11 News her husband was not allowed to have any visitors while he was in the ICU. She tells me this was the hardest time of her life.

“It’s really scary not being able to see it firsthand. You’re at the mercy of your telephone just patiently waiting for someone to call you to give you an update” said Mrs. Flowers.

After one week of hard work from staff at St. Mary Corwin Hospital and Mr. Flowers, he was able to call his wife and tell her he was coming home.

The family wants everyone to know this virus is not something to joke around with and can happen to anyone. “You just never know. I mean he has no health complications whatsoever, we’re in our 30′s, we’re not in the normal bracket of people that are going to have a severe reaction. I think it’s important for the public to know that this can happen to you. This can happen to anyone and so you know we need to all stay at home and do what they’re suggesting that we do to stay safe and take it seriously” says Mrs. Flowers.

Flowers sister set up a GoFundMe page for the family to help cover some of the hospital costs while he was fighting for his life. The fund raised more than double what the family needed all thanks to the community. The Flowers family tells me the giving does not stop with these acts of kindness they have been given.

Due to the severity of his response to the virus they family is quarantining themselves for a little while longer. But once Thanksgiving break is over, Mr. Flowers tells 11 News he will be back at work and is excited to be back teaching his students.

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