COVID-19: VACCINE WATCH

A ‘Hero’s Welcome’ for vet who beat the odds and survived COVID-19

Nov 13, 2020, 7:10 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A Vietnam veteran who was once told he was going to die from COVID-19 makes an amazing recovery and has returned home.  His family surprised him with a small hero’s welcome, and dozens of people lined the streets to wish him well.

Family members of Craig “DanDan” Eby say he had no idea what was planned for him as he returned to his home after being hospitalized for two months.  He was totally surprised by the police and medic escort he would receive, and he had no clue people would place flags in their yards and hold signs to greet him for his hero’s welcome.

When he arrived in his driveway, Eby looked at the crowd and said, “Thank you so much, all of you.  I love you all from the bottom of my heart.”

A 'Hero's Welcome' for Vietnam vet who beat the odds and survived COVID-19

(Craig Eby, flanked by two of his daughters, thanking the crowd when he came home. Credit: Paul Nelson)

Eby had to be helped into his home, and his family says he lost about 50 pounds since he was admitted.  However, considering the fact that doctors told him he was going to die four weeks ago, his family is calling his recovery a miracle.  His wife, Sandy, says he’s a lot weaker than he used to be, and he’ll have health complications from now on.

“He’ll be on oxygen the rest of his life because his lungs are so damaged,” she says.  “He had to learn how to do everything.  He had to learn how to walk and… everything.”

She says her husband never thought he would ever see his house or the rest of his family, ever again.  However, he beat the odds, and that’s all she cares about.

“If it hadn’t been for all of the doctors and nurses and the fasting and prayers, he would have never made it,” Eby says.

This isn’t the first time Eby has cheated death.  While serving in Vietnam, shrapnel from a land mine went through him, which earned him the Purple Heart.  In 1996, his family says he was beaten, stabbed five times and left for dead.  His daughter, Lauren Cooper, says his blood pressure was non-existent when he arrived at the hospital that day.

Cooper says it was torture for the entire family who wasn’t allowed to see him in the hospital because of quarantine rules.  When Eby was transferred to Utah Valley Specialty Hospital, he was only allowed to have one family member come to see him, his wife.  Cooper believes that small amount of human interaction was what he needed to want to get better.

A 'Hero's Welcome' for Vietnam vet who beat the odds and survived COVID-19

(Family members make a display saying “Welcome Home DanDan” on Eby’s lawn. Credit: Paul Nelson)

Eby jokingly told his family he would like to have a parade when he was discharged.  Cooper says her father never got the hero’s welcome he expected when he came back from war.

“When he came home from Vietnam, he wasn’t welcomed home.  He didn’t get the ticker tape parade.  They didn’t get any of that,” Cooper says.  “They got booed and made to feel they did something wrong.”

However, family members decided to make his request a reality.  Cooper promoted it on a few different social media pages, and reached out to the city for a police escort.  She says the show of support from the community has been amazing.

“The Saratoga Springs Police Department and Fire Department were just [amazing, asking], ‘What can we do?’” she says.

 

Related Links:

Utah shatters daily COVID-19 case increase record

The COVID-19 vaccine: when will Utahns have access?

Doctors urge Utahns to follow COVID-19 mandates, saying hospitals are at ‘tipping point’ of being overwhelmed

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19: Vaccine Watch

A sign reading "immunizations" hangs over a desk. COVID-19 vaccines Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Where to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider for children 5 and under in Utah

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months old, but where can you find a vaccine provider for your child in Utah?
12 days ago
A child is comforted after getting his COVID-19 vaccine....
Samantha Herrera

More COVID-19 vaccines ordered in Utah for children as young as 6 months

32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older have been ordered by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
13 days ago
This combination of 2022 and 2020 file  photos shows logos for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...
LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Marathon US hearings to decide fate of COVID shots for tots

On Wednesday, both Moderna and Pfizer will argue their case. Each company aims to offer a different dose and number of shots.
25 days ago
FILE - A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. ...
LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

New vaccine may be option for troops with religious concerns

At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine. Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
26 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
1 month ago
COVID-19 vaccine...
KEVIN McGILL

Opponents of federal vaccine mandate seek rehearing

Mr. Biden issued an order Sept. 9 that more than 3.5 million federal executive branch workers undergo vaccination, with no option to get regularly tested.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
A ‘Hero’s Welcome’ for vet who beat the odds and survived COVID-19