Fort McMurray father and son recovering after waking from month-long comas due to COVID-19

·3 min read
Scott and Clayton Langford woke up from comas three days apart.  (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC - image credit)
Scott and Clayton Langford woke up from comas three days apart. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC - image credit)

A Fort McMurray father and son are looking to get their lives back on track after waking up from month-long comas, three days apart, following serious complications from COVID-19.

Scott Langford, 32, and his father, Clayton Langford, 58, were both diagnosed with COVID-19 in May. They hadn't seen each other in months and contracted the virus separately.

Both men have asthma, and weren't able to get enough oxygen when they were sick, leading to them being put into induced comas.

"I spent the better part of five weeks crying," said Carole-Anne Langford, 55, Clayton's wife and Scott's mother. "And having those difficult conversations that nobody ever wants to have, but when you're told there's a good chance they're not going to make it, you have to figure out what you're going to do."

On June 19, Scott came out of his coma. His wife, Kara, was there with him and she told him she loved him.

Scott scribbled a few words down on a sheet of paper to tell Kara he missed her too.

Submitted by Carole-Anne Langford
Submitted by Carole-Anne Langford

Three days later, Clayton came out of his coma. The doctors let Clayton cover his tracheostomy so he could say one word: Hi.

"It was just amazing … It had been weeks since we heard anything from either of them," said Carole-Anne.

"When they were both awake and both talking and breathing I think is the first night I slept again."

Both men have some memories of the ordeal.

Clayton said he remembers waving at his son at the ICU in Fort McMurray and thinking that he just wanted his son to live — he didn't care about himself.

"Your kids is more important," said Clayton. "I was scared like hell to even worry about him."

Jamie Malbeuf/CBC
Jamie Malbeuf/CBC

When Scott woke up from his 35-day coma, he had no idea he'd been transferred to an Edmonton hospital. He had hallucinations and dreams, and believed he had recently been walking around.

He was awake for about a week before he realized he was stuck in a hospital bed, sick.

Scott then had to relearn how to walk.

"Now it's all getting a lot easier," said Scott. He said he'd like to get back into the gym so he can start regaining strength in his upper body.

Clayton was in a coma for 40 days.

He says he still struggles with his weakened strength. He has to walk with a cane or walker, just in case he loses his balance.

Clayton says he struggles to get into the bathtub without help, and he has to do exercises to rebuild the muscles in his hands and arms. He's been a scaffolder for 15 years, and thinks it's unlikely he'll ever be able to go back to that career.

"I can't lift anything with my hands," said Clayton. "It is a rough go."

Jamie Malbeuf/CBC
Jamie Malbeuf/CBC

Once Scott is recovered, he's planning on travelling more with Kara. The two have already gone to the mountains in Banff.

Clayton is planning on travelling back home to Newfoundland, as his father died while he was in the coma and he'd like to say goodbye.

The entire family says they can't thank the nurses enough, for caring and being supportive.

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