By Bill Shields

MARSHFIELD (CBS) — Curtis Akins of Marshfield was one of the first critically-ill coronavirus patients to recover and be released from South Shore Hospital. But even then, he was still on oxygen and very weak.

That was three weeks ago. On Friday, Akins happily spoke with WBZ-TV. “Yeah, I feel a heck of a lot better. I feel like I’m making progress,” he said.

Like many other COVID-19 patients, Akin’s life was jeopardized by what the virus did to his lungs. Even now, it’s unclear what his lung capacity will be in the future. But he’s still made some big strides, now able to walk his dogs.

“My breathing is still far from what it should be,” he said. “The doctor told me I could use Memorial Day as a target to get to my new normal. They still don’t know what my new normal will be.”

Curtis Akin leaving South Shore Hospital. (Photo Courtesy: Curtis Akin)

We have a lot to learn about the coronavirus, but we know that in some healthy people, it quickly attacks the lungs.

“The body’s response to the virus is inflammation. And that inflammation can really affect the lungs very drastically,” said Dr. Helen Boucher of Tufts Medical Center.

But Akin is so happy to be recovering he’s decided to donate his plasma and the antibodies that come with it to the Red Cross.

“Thinking about coronavirus and seeing the news and all the deaths, they’re still piling up, it’s such a shame,” he said. “I just didn’t want to be one of those numbers.”

Bill Shields