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'He was on five liters of oxygen for several days': Council man heads home after COVID-19 hospitalization

Ted Cole was the first person in Adams County to test positive for coronavirus, but is now home recovering.

COUNCIL, Idaho — It's a question we've been asked over and over: How many people have recovered from the coronavirus?

Unfortunately, the state of Idaho isn't releasing that information just yet. As of Wednesday night, numbers show 1,259 Idahoans have tested positive for COVID-19, with 19 confirmed deaths. 

And while the state may not be able to share recovery numbers, we're doing our best to find recovery stories out there.

People like Ted Cole, the first person in Adams County to test positive, but is now home recovering.

Two weeks ago, the 66-year-old wasn't feeling so good. He thought maybe it was the flu.

"I started having a fever and started feeling a little nauseated," Ted Cole said. "I didn't really have shortness of breath. I had a sore throat."

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His wife Janie decided to have him tested for coronavirus because of his underlying health conditions.

Four days later, the test came back positive.

Ted was actually feeling better by then.

"They told us then, 'That's great that you're feeling good, but just beware sometimes you'll feel good and then it gets worse,'" Janie Cole said.

They were right. That night, Ted's condition went downhill quickly.

"Within four hours it was drastic," Janie said. "So I called 911 and the EMTs got here and got him on oxygen - he'd been throwing up at that point - and got him on Life Flight and got him down to Boise."

Ted says he doesn't remember much about that ordeal.

"I was a little bit delirious," he said.

He would spend the next five days at St. Luke's in Meridian.

"They had the 5th floor was all COVID patients they said. They were ready to put him in ICU if needed," Janie said. "But he was on five liters of oxygen for several days and a heart monitor."

Janie couldn't be with him in the hospital. She was at home in Council, under quarantine.

"I wasn't being pessimistic, but when I heard the helicopter leaving town and the ambulance leaving, you just think that could be it," she said.  "We were really glad that he recovered. Like I said, you think it's a death sentence when you hear it."

Ted is now back home. He says he is still nauseous, but not enough to lose his sense of humor.

"Well, you know I've never been pregnant but I feel like I've had morning sickness for about 9 months already," he said.

Ted will be considered fully recovered if he shows no additional symptoms 14 days after being released from the hospital.

RELATED: Blaine County ER doctor says areas that don't practice social distancing will be hit hard by COVID-19

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