Robert Colleton doesn’t exactly know who to thank for his new lease on life, but he knows the many health care professionals at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center are who helped him beat the odds.

It was late March when Colleton went to an emergency department, complaining of a dry cough and a 100.3 temperature. He tested positive for COVID-19 and spent the next six weeks in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (6 North) and the COVID-19 Med Surge (6 West) wards.

Robert Colleton thanks the many health care professionals at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center who helped him beat COVID-19.

The 66-year old Air Force Veteran battled for his life, spending time on both a ventilator and in a medically induced coma.

“The doctors and nurses did not give up on me, and they all had such positive attitudes,” he said.

Colleton credits his faith as one of the many reasons he believes he is alive today. He was told he faced an uphill battle, with a slim chance of survival.

“One of my doctors on 6 North said her whole family was praying for me,” he said. “I have no recollection of being on the ventilator. Even when I was in the coma, I could feel their presence. I remember people checking on me. I am eternally grateful for them.”

The Shreveport VA staff caring for Colleton kept in close contact with his sister, who lives in South Carolina. She didn’t make the trip because there was little she could do but offer hope.

At home

Colleton was discharged from the Shreveport VA in mid-May, then spent two additional weeks at a private rehabilitation facility. He now closely monitors his overall health, and with his new lease on life, keeps his spirits high with friends and family at his home in Shreveport.


Mark Woodall is a public affairs specialist at the Shreveport VA Medical Center in Shreveport, La.

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One Comment

  1. Dr. Karthik Gunaskearan, Sexologist June 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    It makes me feel happy when aged and people with pre-existing conditions make it after getting infected with Corona Virus. The sad part is, no one exactly knows what exactly corona is doing to each individual who couldn’t walk out of the hospital. Is there any organ that is not affected by this virus?

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