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He’s a survivor

Thanks to prayer and a dedicated team of healthcare workers, Brandon Vaughn is a miraculous survivor of COVID-19

After more than four months of battling COVID-19 and its aftereffects, eighteen year old Brandon Vaughn (right) is happy to finally be back home in Pine Knot with his family. Brandon is pictured withhis brother James (left) and dog, Fluffy.
After more than four months of battling COVID-19 and its aftereffects, eighteen year old Brandon Vaughn (right) is happy to finally be back home in Pine Knot with his family.  Brandon is pictured with his brother James (left) and dog, Fluffy.
Photo by Eugenia Jones
Sheriff Randy Waters escorted the Vaughns and a welcoming parade of family, friends, and first responders

By Eugenia Jones

Last week, McCreary County’s eighteen year old Brandon Vaughn was welcomed home as a miracle and answer to prayer after battling COVID-19 and its aftereffects for more than four months of confinement at the University of Kentucky’s Children’s Hospital in Lexington and a rehabilitation center in Louisville.

Brandon, who previously had no underlying heath conditions, was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the age of 17 in late October and admitted to Children’s Hospital in Lexington on November 7, 2021.  He spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and his 18th birthday recovering in health care facilities with his mother and father remaining close by his side.  Brandon spent a large portion of his recovery on a ventilator, ECMO machine, and eventually undergoing dialysis after his kidneys failed.  Finally, the teen’s doctors began reaching out to other hospitals in hopes of finding a facility that would accept Brandon for a double (kidney/lung) transplant.  

As prayers continued, Brandon was deemed too weak to undergo a transplant.  His physicians in Lexington continued their efforts until, thankfully, their young McCreary County patient began showing signs of gradual improvement.  In February, in a wheelchair and unable to walk, Brandon was finally able to transfer to a rehabilitation center where he was determined to learn to walk again.

Last week (March 23, 2022), Brandon was able to finally make his journey back home.  After leaving Louisville in route to McCreary County, Brandon and his parents stopped by Children’s Hospital in Lexington.  It was a touching moment when Brandon, taking slow steps and with the aid of a cane, walked in the facility to thank the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who had done so much to help him survive.  

Glad to have thanked those in Lexington who had worked so diligently to help him survive, Brandon’s next stop was in McCreary County where he arrived to a hero’s welcome as first responders, family, and friends gathered at the McCreary/Pulaski County line to escort him home in a celebratory parade led by McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters, Deputies, Kentucky State Police, and local fire departments.  In short order and surrounded by loved ones, Brandon arrived home to do what he had wanted to do for so long-reunite with his younger brother, James, and his beloved dog, Fluffy.

On their Facebook page, Brandon’s parents expressed their joy in being home with their children and their appreciation to all who supported the family through their ordeal.

“Home sweet home and getting to see both of our boys together is such a blessing,” Brandon’s mother posted.  “God has worked a miracle in him.”

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