Friends hold parade for man who beat cancer, coronavirus in 6 months

WATCH: An Indianapolis man got a warm welcome home from his neighbours after surviving cancer and the novel coronavirus – both within six months.

An Indianapolis man beat both cancer and coronavirus six months apart, and his friends threw a socially distant parade to celebrate.

On March 16, Paul Lee and wife Julie Lee started to feel sick.

Though Julie got better within a few days, her 48-year-old husband, who had just finished battling cancer, got much worse, NBC-affiliate WTHR reports.


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“It moved to where he couldn’t walk and he couldn’t talk and I said to him, ‘Influenza B doesn’t cause you to not be able to walk or talk,’” Julie Lee said.

Two weeks later, Paul Lee was on a ventilator fighting for his life, while his blended family of eight remained quarantined at home.

While Paul Lee was in the hospital, Julie Lee was able to FaceTime him a few times. Otherwise, their family saw him around the house, wherever they put up photos of him, the broadcast station says.

Paul Lee, 48, just won his battle against prostate cancer but months later was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Paul Lee, 48, just won his battle against prostate cancer but months later was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Global News

Finally, Paul Lee was able to return home on April 16 after not only beating prostate cancer in November 2019, but also surviving COVID-19.

“I said, ‘We’ve got to do something for Paul. We need to give him a ticker-tape parade or something that’s going to make him feel better and welcome him back home because he deserves it after struggling with cancer originally and now the coronavirus,’” said neighbour Karen Cumings in an interview with WTHR-TV.

For his homecoming, people in the neighbourhood made signs and brought out cowbells to cheer him on as he arrived home from the hospital.


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“I almost wanted to go back and take another loop through because there were people there I had no idea were going to be there, and it was amazing,” Julie Lee said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Indiana was battling more than 11,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate. Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities. To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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