Dudley Hiles noticed something wrong around March 26. He had difficulty breathing so he got it checked. Things went downhill quickly from there.

He was soon hospitalized at Mercy's critical care unit with COVID-19. According to Iowa's News Now his doctors put him on a ventilator, and intubated him for 27 days while in a medically induced coma.

On April 21 Dudley's friend and former co-worker Sunny McVey wrote to KRNA radio:

"(Dudley) is in dire straits, he's not doing as well as we once thought. He's been on a ventilator for over 24 days. He worked as my partner here at PMX local 1024 UAW for 20 plus years, then went over to Quaker Oats, another union facility (where) he's been now for 7 years. Please give a shout out to his family and pray he pulls through...(it's) not looking good. but we do believe in miracles."

KRNA listeners heard about Dudley's condition, along with others like him - guys like Karl Hudson and Chad Edmonds, who were also fighting for their lives. KRNA listeners let us know they were praying for all of them.

Family and friends describe Dudley as a "Gladiator" but they were terrified when doctors said they were concerned he could soon be dead. .

His daughter posted updates on Facebook and everyone prayed.

"Yesterday, I had to pay for our dad's funeral arrangements, we were told he had no chance of making it and today would be the day he would pass.... if you do not believe in God you will now. They took the ventilator off at 1:00. At 1:45 they called - we were so scared to answer but they said he’s awake and doing well and they said "talk to him". We did, and he could barley breath, but he used all his breathe to tell his babies he loves them.

"At 4 o’clock they called and we FaceTimed (with) him. We saw him and talked to him! They said when he first woke up he didn’t know where he was and wondered why he didn’t have pants!

"We thought we would be crying tears of heartache, instead we are all bawling and holding each other, praising the Lord!" 

Today, Dudley was released from Mercy Hospital to the cheers of the doctors and nurses who treated him for 48 days.

To family and friends, Dudley Hiles is a Gladiator, a fighter and a winner. And so is the medical staff at Mercy.

Cedar Rapids Man Beats COVID-19

Thanks to everyone who sent prayers and good wishes to our union brother, Dudley Hiles.

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