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Ogden violin-playing COVID-19 patient returns home after two months

Posted at 12:06 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 14:17:23-05

OGDEN, Utah — A Utah COVID-19 patient who gained national attention for playing his violin while being treated returned home from an Ogden hospital after nearly two months.

Grover Wilhelmsen, 70, was admitted to McKay-Dee Hospital in early October and was intubated to help in his coronavirus treatment.

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Since he could not speak, Wilhelmsen wrote a note to his nurse, Ciara Sase, asking if he could thank her and others for saving his life by playing the violin.

Once his wife delivered the violin, Wilhemsen performed from his bed on Oct. 13. His rendition of the Tennessee Waltz was shared worldwide on social media and became a viral sensation.

Wilhemsen spent time in a long-term care facility before he returned to the hospital for more rehabilitation. On Dec. 2, Wilhemsen was finally allowed to return home after being away for over seven weeks.

On his way out of the hospital, Wilhemsen was greeted by Sase and the other staff who had treated him for the virus. People lined the hospital balconies to cheer Wilhemsen as he was escorted out.

For the first time, Sase was actually able to hear Wilhsemsen's voice as he was no longer intubated.

“These are the moments that remind us we came into healthcare in the first place. It’s just really special.” said Sase.