INDIANAPOLIS — A Bedford teenager is continuing his recovery from COVID-19 complications after spending nearly six months in the hospital.
Wesley Fox, 16, spent 175 days at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. His parents frequently made the 90 mile one way journey from their Lawrence County home to see their son.
Mom Molly Fox says she used to describe her only child as more of a lover than a fighter. Over the past several months, she's seen her son fight and says the whole family has become more resilient.
"That kid's got a lot of fight in him and he has fought so hard to get strong and be able to walk again and talk again and just get back to being a normal kid," she said.
Molly says the journey has had ups and downs but they got through the 5.5 month journey as Molly and her husband leaned on each other.
"From the first day, I always said I knew that we would bring him home, but I didn't know for sure how we would bring him home. I'm thankful we're bringing him home walking and not in a casket, cause I thought that's what we were gonna do [at one point]," Molly said.
This week, Wesley was transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. He's set to come home next week.
Molly says over the last 5.5 months, he's become a social butterfly, talking with Peyton Manning Children's Hospital staff about Dungeons and Dragons and video games that Wesley is interested in.
He even had a "hospital mom" and a nurse practitioner he called "Uncle Anthony."
"They did so good about taking his interests and helping him talk through different games that they played, which this mom doesn't understand most of those games anyway," Molly said. "They did so good not only treating his physical needs, but his mental and emotional needs as well."
The first time Wesley's parents really got to hear Wesley talk was on Molly's birthday. Care team members surprised Molly by helping Wesley use a speaking valve to sing "Happy Birthday" to his mom in October.
"Even though we've been farther apart in the past six months miles wise than we ever have, we're probably closer than we've ever been [as a family]," Molly said.
Wesley's hospital journey is also helping other families. Molly's coworkers have asked her to help them understand what doctors are saying as their loved ones also battle the virus and people across the country have been praying for Wesley.
"To see how far he's come - everybody wants to see that final victory lap and how far he's come. He's touched a lot of lives and I know he will continue to as he goes through his life and tells his story," Molly said.