COVID-19 survivor shares his story after 71 days in hospital

Nov. 11, 2021

photo of covid survivor Nathan, who is sharing his story, after he lost 1/3 his body weight.
Nathan weighed 218 pounds when he went into the hospital with COVID-19. After 71 days, he left weighing 141. Photo courtesy of the Washam family.

Nathan Washam is a survivor. At 22, he was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer. He won that battle and went on to marry his best friend, Sarah, and together, they are raising two teenagers in Windsor, Colorado.

But on Jan. 24, 2021, Washam was hospitalized with COVID-19. He spent 71 days in the hospital. He now shares his story and his message to the health care teams who helped save his life.

“I had stage 4 cancer and tons of chemo. I was on my death bed,” he said. “But I’ll go through that 100 times before I’d go through this again.”

Washam and his family urge people to wear their masks and get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Yes, you can survive it. Most people will,” Washam said about COVID-19. “But it doesn’t mean you won’t suffer. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be extremely messed up by it.”

covid survivor in the hospital bed, now telling his story.
Nathan Washam and his wife, Sarah, with their two children. Photo courtesy of the Washam family.

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.