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'I was just scared that I wouldn’t make it.' 80-year-old metro Detroit man, 74-year-old wife survive COVID-19

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 18:38:00-04

(WXYZ) — The lives that have been lost to COVID-19 should be honored and acknowledged, but we must also share the stories of people who have come out on the other side.

7 Action News Reporter Andrea Isom talked with a metro Detroit family who has double the reasons to be thankful.

“I called my father. He was in the hospital. I could barely hear his voice. His coughing spells seemed to never end. I’ve never heard my dad that way and I’m like, oh my God is he gonna make it?” questioned Michelle Silber of Oakland County.

Her dad, Harvey Olson, is 80-years-old. Olson conquered cancer and several surgeries just this year. Now COVID-19.

“From the beginning I felt really lousy. I really felt very weak,” says Harvey Olson from his hospital bed at Beaumont Royal Oak.

Olson was having trouble breathing. He was on oxygen and his wife Doris Olson, 74, felt helpless, only to find she too tested positive for coronavirus.

“I was just scared that I wouldn’t make it. I had a fever, not real high, and I had like this horrible headache. My head was so heavy. Feeling so, so bad. I mean so bad," she says.

Doris’ husband was hospitalized, while she was quarantined at home - alone. But weeks later Doris started to feel better and Harvey did too.

“Totally free of the virus. Everything’s going good. I’m a very, very lucky man today," Harvey says with joy.

And Doris is feeling great as well.

“I feel wonderful and I’m just so happy to have survived this and to feel as good as I am now,” she said with a huge smile.

Daughter Michelle is so appreciative of everyone at Beaumont for caring for her family all the patients suffering from COVID-19.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my dad, after 3 weeks today, will leave that hospital, go to rehab and recover. My Dad’s a hero. Doris is a hero," she says.

Yes, they are heroes, who give us all hope.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.