A Cullman man has set up a GoFundMe account for his brother who is battling COVID-19 at Cullman Regional Medical Center.

Nick Butterfly said his brother Ryan, 41, has been on a ventilator for about four weeks but is improving.

Nick said he set up the GoFundMe account to help the family with the longterm impact of the disease. As of Tuesday afternoon, the account had raised more than $2,500 towards the $15,000 goal.

“I basically started it so they could focus on their family life and getting Ryan healthy and not have to worry about not having enough money to pay the bills or have food,” said Nick, who described his brother as “a really good dude. He’s a great family man.”

The 1998 Cullman High School graduate, his wife and their three children all came down with COVID-19, but while the other family members had mild cases, Ryan’s quickly became very serious.

Within four days, he was hospitalized.

“For him to say, ‘I’m having trouble breathing, I need to go to the ER,’ that’s a lot,” said Nick.

According to Nick’s post on GoFundMe, “Ever since serving his country in the United States Army, he developed multiple diagnoses such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

He battled these afflictions for years, though recently he had made great stride in coping with them.

For the past year, it was our fear that his body would not handle the COVD-19 virus. And even though it has been a terribly horrifying past three weeks, he is showing amazing signs of recovery.”

Ryan, 41, homeschooled their son and ran an online t-shirt company from home.

His wife, Amanda, had to resign from her new job in order to be there for Ryan’s recovery and their children.

Nick said his family’s faith is helping them get through. “My family, we’re very devout and we do feel that God is looking over Ryan and he’s in good hands with the medical professionals,” said Nick.

To contribute to the GoFundMe account, go to gofundme.com/f/help-the-butterflies.

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 216.

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