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75-year-old Vietnam veteran beats COVID-19

Posted at 7:59 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 23:21:58-05

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Doctors told a Vietnam veteran he had two weeks to live before resorting to hospice care.

But this is not the first time Craig Eby has fought for his life.

Craig's wife Sandra said her husband was wounded in the Vietnam War back in 1965.

When Craig returned home from the war, he taught a rifle shooting class and eventually worked at a brokerage firm in California.

The Golden State is where the couple lived and raised their family of all girls for 40 years before retiring to Utah.

"When he left ICU three to four weeks ago, they said he was going to die," said Sandra.

That idea was unfathomable to their family.

"It was scary for some time," said Craig's niece Toni McKay. "We thought we were going to lose him."

When the family was able to visit them, Craig's grandson Canon DeGracie said they asked Craig what he wanted when he came home.

His answer was a parade.

At first, his family kept the parade between family members, but then decided to invite their Saratoga Springs neighbors.

"Go big or go home," Canon said.

Balloons and marker notes filled the Ebys' yard with flags lining the sidewalk — finally, Craig was coming home.

"It’s a miracle," said Sandra. "If it hadn’t been for all of the doctors and nurses, the fasting and prayers, he would have never made it."

Escorted in a flash of red, white and blue, the 75-year-old veteran beat COVID-19.

"I made it," said Craig as he stepped out of the car, hooked up to oxygen. "It cannot kill me."

Then, with a sweeping smile at the crowd of loved ones in front of him, Craig said, "You guys are wonderful."

The veteran has lost about 40 pounds, and Sandra said he will be on oxygen for the rest of his life because of the damage done to his lungs.

"He’s a little weak, but he’s alive and that’s all we care about," said Sandra.

The family said they will be very cautious in the coming weeks, months and years they visit Craig because of his condition.

As he walked into his home, arm in arm with loved ones, he exclaimed, "Thank you all, it’s truly a wonderful day."