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Fate Officer Battling COVID-19 Now on Road to Recovery

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As he lies in a hospital room at Baylor University Medical Center, Clint Willoughby’s family says the question’s no longer if but when he’ll return home.

“There were so many days where we weren’t sure,” said Clint’s wife Cynthia Willoughby.

The 41-year-old Fate Public Safety Officer was first admitted to an Allen hospital in early December after testing positive for COVID-19.

Until Saturday when she was finally allowed in his room, Willoughby said she hadn't seen her husband in 50 days.

She was the first to be hospitalized with the virus.

Then on the day of her release, he was admitted.

His decline was quick.

“It's been such a humbling experience for us just because he's so strong, and he's the one who takes care of us,” said Willoughby.

Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?

As the state begins to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines for those in Phase 1A and 1B, county health departments have begun waitlists for those wish to be inoculated.

You can now register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:

Waitlist Links: Collin - Search Waitlist | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant

You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.

But once he got sick, it was up to her, his daughters, stepsons and grandchildren to take care of him. As other families have experienced, that meant checking in via a phone screen.

For nearly three weeks, Clint was sedated while intubated and relying on a ventilator to breathe.

Doctors decided he also needed ECMO, a life support treatment Willoughby said they learned was in short supply.

“It’s not very easy to get an ECMO bed anywhere. They looked as far as Galveston, as far as Alabama, other states, and no one had openings. So, it was honestly just by the grace of God that he got one here in Dallas,” said Willoughby.

She said it was just one of the countless times the family felt the power of prayer from a community that was bigger than they knew.

Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows where COVID-19 vaccines have been sent around the state. Click on a marker to find out information about each location. Use the "plus" and "minus" signs below to zoom in and out of the map.

From the Texas DSHS: Availability of COVID-19 vaccines lilsted on this map are based on shipping information and reporting to the DSHS directly by facilities. Please contact providers in advance to confirm vaccination location and hours, that they have vaccine on hand and that you are eligible for vaccination at that site. Not all providers are vaccinating the public or people in all priority groups. Vaccine is available at no charge, regardless of insurance status.

“People who pray for us, we don't even know. It's just very surreal. It's completely overwhelming,” said Willoughby.

Clint was taken off of ECMO in just the last few days.

Tuesday, Willoughby said he remained on low ventilation, which they hope to wean him off of soon.

He's also begun physical therapy to relearn the use of limbs that have sat idle for more than a month.

"It's definitely a marathon and we have to pace ourselves,” said Willoughby.

Still, she said doctors have given them hope a full recovery is on the horizon.


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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