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'He has so much to give and to live for': 25-year-old Toledoan fighting for his life, weeks after COVID-19 diagnosis

Marcus Hartford tested positive in early April. He's been fighting for his life at a hospital in Cleveland and doctors say there's a 50/50 chance he'll pull through.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Although we've had a lot of hopeful news this week when it comes to the fight against COVID-19, there are still many of our neighbors battling the virus. 

Marcus Hartford, 25, of Toledo tested positive for COVID-19 in early April. As time progressed, he kept getting worse and worse.

For two weeks now, he has been fighting for his life in a hospital in Cleveland. The coronavirus damaged his lungs so he's on breathing machines, has a trach and three chest tubes to keep his oxygen levels at where they need to be. His doctors have him very sedated as well. 

Cohle Nino, who is a close family friend of Hartford's and his mother, says his journey to recovery has been a roller coaster.

"The doctors have told us there's a 50/50 chance he'll pull through this," Nino said. "Other doctors have called us into the room on certain days of us being there and said 'hey, this is it. We're done with all we have and we've given him everything,' and then he bounces back within the next hour."

Hartford was a healthy guy and didn't have any preexisting conditions, according to Nino.

"When you see your loved one going through this it will really change your mind on if you want to get vaccinated or not."

Hartford has been showing signs of improvement the last few days. Unsure of what the next minute will bring, his close friends and family simply asks for prayers. 

"He has so much to give and to live for," Nino said. "We just want him back. Waking up and singing and goofing off again. 'cause that's him." 

Nino said Hartford is an executive chef who loves cooking and music. 

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for Hartford to help him pay for his home and medical bills while he remains in the hospital. The money will also go towards helping his mother stay in Cleveland so she can remain by his bedside.

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