NC trooper battling COVID-19 on life support in ICU at UNC, wife says

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is on life support in the Intensive Care Unit at UNC Hospital as he battles COVID-19, his wife told CBS 17.

As of Monday morning, Trooper Brent Montgomery has spent 11 days in the ICU where he is on life support and a ventilator, his wife, Heather Montgomery, said.

According to Heather Montgomery, her husband got the virus on Feb. 1 and was able to go a few days before his oxygen levels dropped so low that he had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

The trooper has been hospitalized since then.

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Heather Montgomery has been using her Facebook page to provide updates on her husband’s condition.

An update posted around 6 a.m. Monday said that doctors “had to go back up on his ECMO last night to 80%” and that the trooper’s nurse “felt his chest X-ray was a little worse.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO is also known as “extracorporeal life support” and is a type of technique where “blood is pumped outside of your body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body.”

ECMO “allows the blood to ‘bypass’ the heart and lungs, allowing these organs to rest and heal,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Trooper Brent Montgomery (Photo courtesy of Montgomery family)

Heather Montgomery said on Facebook that despite the latest news from her husband’s care team she is “still believing he is going to come home to us!”

Heather Montgomery said that her husband is unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine because doctors are concerned that the vaccine could be rejected due to the various medicines and treatments the trooper is currently receiving.

According to Heather Montgomery’s posts, she and her husband have been getting support from friends, family and the local community. She has also been relying on her strong faith in God.

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