Local couple married for 43 years beats coronavirus together

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — We are hearing more and more stories of recovery during this pandemic.

Right now, the family of an 85-year-old man who had been on a ventilator is taking him home days after his wife also beat the virus.

Late last month, Ging Gilliam drew cheers from hospital heroes who helped saved her life from COVID-19. She went from a ventilator to home in about two weeks.

She still feels the effect of the virus, but it's not as bad as that void of not having her husband of 43 years by her side.

He's due home today after an even longer-more life threatening COVID-19 fight.

She said not seeing her husband was the hardest thing about the virus.

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While both were being treated at Piedmont Walton Hospital, they couldn’t see each other.

Nurses arranged a drive-by virtual hug as Ging was being released.

Since then, quarantine has kept them mostly apart.

Ging Gilliam says this has been the longest time apart in their 43-year marriage and says she had to administer some tough medicine of her own to reach year 44. She says her husband wanted to give up.

“He said, ‘I lived my life.’ I said, ‘just give me one more chance. Just give me one time this time and maybe we can still enjoy life for some more years, who knows?” Ging Gilliam said.

Even when at home, both Ging and Chuck will have days left on their quarantines.

She says they will wear masks and stay sit feet apart in their living room, but at least they will be home together.