A Winthrop Harbor man, who was unvaccinated and had no underlying conditions, is finally listed on the transplant list for new lungs after battling COVID-19 for more than three months.
Matthew LaPrade, 46, tested positive for COVID-19 on August 28 and was admitted to the hospital before eventually being transferred to the intensive care unit days later.
“With every day that passed Matt’s breathing became more labored and his condition continued to deteriorate as COVID attacked his lungs,” said Zion resident April Knourek.
LaPrade was in critical condition and put on a ventilator on September 15.
“The decision was made to put him on a ventilator in effort to ease the burden on his body, allow him to rest and give him the best possible chance to heal while fighting the virus,” Knourek said.
LaPrade was flown by Flight For Life to St. Luke’s in Milwaukee on September 20.
The man was terminated from his job at the end of September and his health insurance was canceled.
LaPrade is now on the transplant list for new lungs after doctors said his lungs will not recover from the damage from COVID.
“He was officially listed,” LaPrade’s girlfriend, Tara Taylor-Losch, told CBS Chicago. “He’s top priority in our area.”
“He didn’t have any underlying issues, he worked out every day, he ate healthy,” Taylor-Losch said of her boyfriend.
“I mean from Labor Day to Christmas, he’s missed every holiday. And I’m like, it’s just time, like we’re ready. I don’t know why Matt got all the chances he got, but I’m thankful he did,” she told CBS.
“Critical care patients require around the clock care, with hospital costs averaging tens of thousands of dollars per day Matts medical and personal expenses are mounting. We are trying to raise money to support Matt and ensure he continues to receive the same phenomenal level of care today and on the long road to recovery that lies ahead,” Knourek said.
A GoFundMe account has raised over $6,000 with a goal of $10,000.