‘He’s a stubborn child of God’: Medical helicopter pilot released after 187 days in hospital’s COVID unit

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC/Gray News) - An Alabama medical helicopter pilot was released from the hospital Friday after a 187-day stay in the COVID unit.

WBRC reports Ricky Hamm was on an intense breathing device for 147 of those days. He said Friday, “I’m getting better every minute.”

Hamm flies helicopters for Survival Flight, an emergency medical transportation company.

He said more than six months ago he got the first shot of the Moderna vaccine on a Tuesday, got sick on a Wednesday and was in the hospital by Sunday. He said he does not blame the vaccine.

Four other co-workers also tested positive for COVID-19. Three of them, including Hamm, had been vaccinated. The four co-workers were back to work within two weeks, Hamm was in the hospital for more than six months.

Family members stayed with Hamm in 24 hour shifts. He said he has a phobia of hospitals, and he thanks his wife, family and the Lord for getting him through.

Hamm said he doesn’t remember the first four months after getting sick and being in the hospital. His wife said he finally became aware and got involved with his treatment and recovery in the “fourth quarter” and things started improving.

She said Hamm is a “guy’s guy” who loves his family and staying at home. She said part of his recovery and journey is because he’s a “stubborn child of God.”

She and Hamm said people should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Hamm said he will get it when he is able.

He and his family got an escort home from area police officers and emergency management agency personnel - friends who were there to congratulate him and happy to celebrate his homecoming.

Hamm said the first things he will do when he gets home are tour his new house, which he’s never seen, and visit his cows.

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