He’s fought COVID-19 for months. Can he ever really beat it?

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Larry Brown had been on a ventilator for 37 days. Nurses periodically turned the 45-year-old former Indiana State football player onto his stomach to help him breathe. Brown’s lungs were filling with fluid, and doctors didn’t expect him to last.

As visitors weren’t allowed in the intensive care unit, a nurse placed a phone next to his ear.

“Thank you for fighting so hard, Larry,” his sister-in-law, Ellie Brown, told him. She was careful not to say goodbye. That might scare him.

Like millions of COVID-19 cases, Brown’s had started with minor symptoms. When he fell ill in mid-March, people in the U.S. were becoming familiar with the novel coronavirus. Businesses were starting to shutter — but only until the country could flatten the curve, nearly everyone thought. And most cases weren’t severe, officials said.

Yet Brown spiraled quickly. His family feared they’d lose him but wouldn’t

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