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Athlete With Down Syndrome Fought COVID-19 And Won! [Video]



  • Special Olympics gold medalist Colby Douglas was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 2. 
  • He was intubated and went to spend 136 days in the hospital fighting the virus.
  • When he finally recovered and sent home on Aug. 14, people were waiting in a parade, celebrating his newest victory.

Special Olympics gold medalist Colby Douglas’ recent victory against coronavirus has people cheering and celebrating it with him.

The 21-year-old athlete with Down syndrome, from Pequannock, New Jersey, finally came home last week after being in the hospital for 136 days fighting COVID-19.

His return was like that of a king’s homecoming — people lining up along the streets cheering for him like a parade especially made in his honor.  Colby told Savannah Guthrie of TODAY, the best part about it was: “The fans.”

It was a long road of recovery for Colby after he fell ill. He woke up one day feeling sick and he requested to his parents right away that he be taken to the hospital.

“And by the time we got there, they said he already had pneumonia,” says his mom, Gayle Douglas.“I kneeled in the backyard and I prayed to God that Colby had so many people believing in him that he needed to heal him.”

Colby was intubated and was diagnosed with coronavirus on April 2. This news came to the attention of Governor Phil Murphy in New Jersey and he wished him well on Facebook who called Colby “an extraordinary young man.”

Since Colby is special, the hospital allowed his mom to stay in his room, but she can’t also leave. Her husband, George, described to TODAY how brave and strong she was for being there. 

Gayle even said she lost weight for pacing 5 miles everyday in the room but she chose to stay because she wanted to make sure Colby was okay.


When Colby woke up, he saw his mom and his dog and a lot of get-well cards. The doctors considered his survival a miracle. On Aug. 14, he finally returned home with people in a parade, waiting and cheering for him.

“Just a blessing beyond blessings. It’s just unbelievable. And then the crowning jewel is he’s OK and he’s home. And that’s what we were all praying for all this time, you know? How blessed we are,” George said.

Source: TODAY