‘We’ve got to shut this virus down’: Previously healthy dad now needs double lung transplant due to COVID-19

A family in Davidson County needs help if a father of three is to live a normal life again.

Video Transcript

TONYA CECIL: We could get him better, to be honest.

- On December 20th, 2020, Ken Cecil was hospitalized for COVID-19. Days turned into weeks, all while the virus destroyed his lungs.

TONYA CECIL: When that left lung went down the first time, I just knew I was going to lose him.

- During Ken's three-month stay at the Forsyth Medical Center, his lungs have collapsed on several occasions. His wife Tonya says COVID caused such severe damage his only option is a double lung transplant.

TONYA CECIL: He needs a lung transplant. And it's not cheap, and it's very expensive, and his insurance won't cover it. Ken tried to schedule a procedure at Duke University Hospital and UNC Health, but was told his insurance doesn't cover the cost. He would have to pay $300,000, money his family does not have. We talked to him over the phone on Friday.

KEN CECIL: I'm hanging in there the best I can do for the situation I'm under.

- And the 55-year-old wanted to share this message with everyone.

KEN CECIL: What I'd like to tell them about the virus is do not underestimate it because it is a very wicked virus.

- The worst part of the virus is all the new memories it's keeping him from making with his family.

TONYA CECIL: His dad missed his first performance, and the second one. And I guess my other concern is that he's going to miss graduation too.

- While the Cecils hold out for a miracle, they're warning others to keep their guard up.

TONYA CECIL: The fact that it can take a healthy person and put him in the hospital for three months and destroy the lungs, the way it's been destroyed. We've got to get this under control. It's got to somehow-- we've got to shut this virus down.