A ‘miracle’ family reunion after Campbell County man battles COVID-19, undergoes lung transplant

‘To be able to join them today, it’s a real blessing’

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. – It was a heartwarming homecoming for Teon Burford and his family Thursday, after a battle with COVID-19.

“I’m glad that’s over. I’m glad that it’s not an everyday thing now,” said Rachael Burford, Teon’s wife.

“I want to spend time with him because I didn’t get to for like three months,” said Taveon, Teon and Rachael’s nine-year-old son.

Teon contracted COVID-19 in December and rushed to UVA Medical’s intensive care unit.

“I just remember waking up [and] couldn’t move. I was basically paralyzed,” said Teon.

The 36-year-old was already battling lung disease and had just qualified for a transplant.

Rachael said surgery was pushed back, as her husband had to rely completely on a ventilator.

“He had 43 percent lung function before he even got COVID, so after COVID they said it was very bad,” Rachael said.

COVID weakened his heart, leading to a fight Teon had no idea he was part of.

“I remember Rachel came in the room and asked me if I was scared and I told her no but didn’t understand why. I remember talking to my mom on the phone, and she was crying. I didn’t understand why,” said Teon.

Somehow, the Campbell County resident regained his strength and qualified for the transplant.

Last month, Teon received two working lungs. They’re calling it a miracle.

“Before I was on six liters of oxygen. Now, no oxygen at all. It’s a great feeling.”

Taveon looks forward to more time with his dad.

“Play stuff outside with him. Play video games with him,” said the nine-year-old.

And Teon can’t wait.

“To be able to join them today, it’s a real blessing.”

Click here to learn more about becoming an organ donor.


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