Houston man has to learn to walk again after contracting COVID-19

Wednesday FOX 26 spoke to a COVID-19 patient, who his doctors say is lucky to be alive.

Lafayette Johnson's lungs and kidneys collapsed because of the virus, which left him bedridden for five months and now he's learning how to walk again.


“It was like a 50/50 chance of me waking up. Like she said I died twice and they brought me back,” said Lafayette Johnson.

Julie Hoff, Director of Critical Care at HCA Houston Healthcare North Cypress, says he is extremely critical, as critical as they come, and that he is blessed to be with us still. 

Lafayette Johnson has been in the hospital because of COVID-19 since July 8 and he was just released Dec. 9. 


Many things are still unknown about the effects of COVID-19 but talk about long-haul-syndrome is being discussed by those In the medical field. 

Which can cause crippling after effects, sometimes, long term. 

“When they show your lungs it looks like glass on your lungs. Those are some of the lingering effects he’s dealing with,” said Kelli Johnson, wife of Lafayette. 

Johnson is still on a ventilator at home and is now learning how to walk again. 

He spent 6 weeks at Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital in Cypress. In total, he spent  five months in bed. 

Dr. Stephen Yang says they are now learning COVID can cause severe muscle and nerve damage. 

“I think what needs to come out in this story is that in some cases covid can really devastate nerves and muscle and in Lafayette's case he had both,” said Dr. Stephen Yang. ”He still can't feel his feet. He’s still working to get the sensation back. When you don’t have that you don’t know quite where to put your feet."

Johnson is a retired bronze star Army Sergeant, spending 19 years in the army.

He currently is a Parole Officer and serves the city of Houston, considered an essential worker, Johnson believes he contracted the virus while on the job. 

‘He’s a veteran I told him this is going to be the fight of his life," said Hoff.

Lafayette’s message is clear- simple and precise.

“My message to everybody is to wear your masks, wash your hands and if you have to go anywhere just postpone that, it's not worth it.”