First person to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in CT speaks out 1 year later

Coronavirus

VIRGINIA (WTNH) — It was in the early days of the pandemic that News 8 first put a name to this novel coronavirus. Wilton’s Chris Tillett spent three weeks at Danbury Hospital including 10 days in a coma. He’s fortunate enough to be able to tell his story.

“How are you?” is often a way to start a conversation. Ask someone who suffered from COVID-19, and you’re looking for an answer.

“I’m feeling really well,” Tillett told News 8. That wasn’t the case when Tillett returned from a conference in California a little over a year ago. Within a week, he said he knew he had the virus. At that point in time, there was still a lot to be learned about treatment. Tillett was on a ventilator, something they have largely gotten away from while treating COVID patients.

Tillett and his wife Elizabeth have twin boys who were only about four months old at the time.

“One of the nice things and loving things that Danbury Hospital did is they took pictures of my sons and put them on my wall. So that when I woke up, that’s who I saw. I felt sorry for myself one time, maybe twice. And also it was like ‘Okay, you gotta get out of this. Ok, you got here. You’re here, you’re alive. How do you move forward?’ And I just felt an overwhelming sense of I’ve gotta prove to myself, and to be with my family, I’ve got to get out of this hospital.”

Which, of course, he did. The family now lives in Virginia, where Chris is originally from.

He said he doesn’t have a lot of after-effects like many other COVID survivors. He called them “minor inconveniences.” He said he feels good adding, “Thanks for asking”

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