McCONNELSVILLE — A concert with two purposes will be held Nov. 30 at the Twin City Opera House.
The show will be a thanks to healthcare workers who can attend for free and a benefit for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.
In September 2021, Rick Shriver of The New Plow Hippies band contracted COVID-19. He collapsed at home from respiratory failure and was rushed to Genesis Hospital in Zanesville.
“My oxygen levels were in the 70s, I had pneumonia, and sepsis,” he said. “I barely remember any of those first few days in the hospital. I just kept getting worse. COVID was trying pretty hard to kill me I guess.”
On the fourth day, the staff pulmonologist told Shriver he had “plateaued.” He was not getting any worse.
“He bluntly told me he thought I was going to live,” Shriver said. “That was it.”
The medical staff at Genesis saved his life, Shriver said.
“I am forever grateful to them all. I also know those were the most difficult times and circumstances anyone in health care could imagine,” he said. “Many members of my care team were young, recently graduated, and completely overwhelmed. But they soldiered on, delivering compassionate care to me and scores of other patients.”
Shriver said being in isolation for 10 days was psychologically and emotionally debilitating.
“No personal contact with family or friends is very difficult. I am so thankful for the staff members who could occasionally take a few minutes to sit and talk with me during those long lonely nights,” he said. “It literally made all the difference.”
Shriver said he knew the staff was stretched to the breaking point during that particular time. The hospital was practically full, and the ICU was nearly at capacity with patients requiring intubation.
“I will never forget the kindness and compassion of the Genesis staff who would find some time to talk with me. And I know they were doing the same for other patients,” Shriver said. “And I know the same thing was happening all over the state, all over the country and all over the world.”
In the year since Shriver’s bout with COVID, he has thought often about how he could repay the debt of gratitude to the caregivers. The concert was the best idea, according to Shriver.
Shriver is playing a concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Twin City Opera House with his band and special guest Matthew Frampton.
Any healthcare worker with an ID can attend at no cost. For others, admission is $10 per person for general admission seating.
Shriver also was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia or CMML, and said he has been made aware of the number of people afflicted with similar diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
Several local businesses have made donations to offset the costs of the concert, which otherwise Shriver is paying out-of-pocket. For more information, contact Shriver at email@example.com, or 740-605-4542.