Retired firefighter returns home after fighting COVID for 90 days

A retired firefighter is back with his family after fighting COVID-19 in the hospital for 90 days. Ed Kreise was put on a ventilator but is now back home, and his family is thankful.

With Thanksgiving coming up, Kreise is already giving thanks for his life. “I am thankful to be alive, ” he said.

Like so many others in Southwest Florida, Kreise contracted COVID-19. His wife had to watch his health decline quickly. Joanne Kreise is Ed’s wife. “He was not breathing properly, not getting enough oxygen,” said Joanne.

His stepdaughter took him to the hospital. 24 hours later, he was on a ventilator. After 90 days in the hospital, Ed came home on Wednesday. 43 of those days were spent in a coma.

Gillian Kreise is Ed’s daughter. “I just did not want to lose my dad and I almost did and at this point, I am just thankful he is home,” she said through tears.

His homecoming turned into a celebration Kreise did not expect. He expected family and friends to be there, but the first responders came as a total surprise.

Kreise spent more than 30 years as a firefighter before retiring to North Fort Myers. “Very heartwarming. All my friends and neighbors cant ask for better,” said Kreise.

State Representative Spencer Roach is Ed’s Neighbor. “Ed’s a tough guy. He’s a fighter. And we all said from the beginning if anyone can beat this, Ed can do it,” Rep. Roach said.

JC Collins is a retired Lehigh Acres Firefighter. “All firefighters are brothers. It doesn’t matter where they are from or which department or what rank they are. We are all there for each other,” Collins said.

This was a day filled with smiles and hugs. While Ed still has a few more steps on his road to recovery and he is happy to be home. “I’ve said this since I woke up since they brought me to, I’d be home for Thanksgiving. I was coming Home way or the other,” Kreise said.

His Thanksgiving wish came true.

Ed Kreise was not vaccinated when he contracted COVID-19. Joanne told WINK News that after all he went through, he’s telling people to get vaccinated.

Reporter:Tiffany Rizzo
Writer:Drew Hill
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