ROGERS, Ark. — A Rogers man is fighting for his life at a Northwest Arkansas hospital after contracting COVID-19 10 days ago.
53-year-old Robert Douthit’s wife, Karyn Haynie, tells 5NEWS her terrifying experience of watching helplessly as her husband was carried out on a stretcher.
After Robert’s test results came back, his wife Karyn set him up at a family member’s house to self-quarantine.
She says she checked on him periodically but when she didn’t hear from him for several hours, she called 911 and saw the aftermath through the Ring video camera.
“You just think he’s sleeping but then you kind of get that feeling and I called 911,” Karyn said.
She says that gut feeling saved her husband’s life. The paramedics told her he would not have survived much longer and that his oxygen levels were very low.
“They were very adamant that if he had laid there and continued and he would not have made it several more hours even,” Karyn said.
Karyn and other family members say they felt helpless watching the situation unfold on a cell phone. They say they are thankful for the emergency responders.
“We watched for 12 minutes. They completely geared up protecting themselves. It was unbelievable the precautions they’re having to take,” Karyn said.
On Sunday (June 14) Robert posted on social media from his hospital bed that this was the most horrific thing he has ever felt, saying he feels like his body is being torn apart inside.
Karyn told 5NEWS Monday (June 15) that her husband is having difficulty breathing and is currently sedated.
“We have to have faith in the doctors, the nurses and it’s just waiting game,” she said.
Robert was a medic and served in Afghanistan as well as a paramedic and former fireman.
Loved ones say he’s a friendly, family man with a fun spirit. They hope from this story that the community comes together and does what needs to be done to win this fight against COVID-19 and help save lives.
“It was just kind of surreal to all of us and I think he said, he said it best. It hits home, it’s impacting and as careful he was, he still is affected,” Karyn said.
As of now, no other family members have tested positive for the virus. They say they aren’t sure how he contracted COVID-19 but believe it may have been from work.
Robert works at a processing plant owned by Springdale based poultry company George’s, which recently announced positive cases at three facilities.