Highlands Ranch family recovering after contracting COVID-19


HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — After weeks of battling COVID-19, one Highlands Ranch family is now free of the disease.

“It feels good to be recovering. But I am still pretty weak,” said Michael McClurkin. “I get tired pretty easily. I can notice progress from day to day.”

Jason McClurkin, in his 40’s, was the first to be hospitalized in mid-March, followed by his father Michael McClurkin a week later. His mother, Ellen McClurkin, also believes she contracted the disease, but she was not hospitalized.

“I have not had an illness that has knocked me on my butt this hard,” Jason explained about coronavirus. “It completely takes you out.”

Michael was hospitalized at a different hospital, Swedish Medical Center, and put on a ventilator within days. He was the first patient there to be intubated for COVID-19.

“It was very eye-opening because it was very real,” said Dr.Mary Laird Warner, a Critical Care physician at Swedish Hospital. “It was the first case of COVID-19 I had to put on life-support.”

But after their fever broke, at different times, they were released from their hospitals, and now they are at home, continuing their recovery.

“For him to be doing as well as he’s doing at this stage is really quite remarkable,” explained Dr. Warner. “It’s really heartening for our team.”

Each family member is now at home, and their 14-day quarantine is complete. And the word that comes to mind for all of them is “gratitude.”

“I’ve had a lot of different moments where things just kind of sink in, and I feel a lot of gratitude,” Jason explained. “Things could have been a lot different, a lot worse. And with the way they turned out, I am very grateful.”