‘Trumpet saved his life’: Illinois man plays Taps at dad’s funeral after beating coronavirus

An Illinois man beat the coronavirus, and his family is crediting his trumpet.

Not only did Dave Navarro recover, but the Moline resident also was able to play “Taps” at his father’s funeral, WQAD reported.

Navarro, 68, was exposed to COVID-19 in July through one of his fellow band members, the television station reported.

“The next Monday after that, we practiced, and our guitar player said he didn’t feel good at all,” Navarro told WQAD. “His vision was all messed up. He wanted to stop at the hospital, and he found out he had a mini-stroke due to the virus. He tested positive.”

Shortly after that, Navarro, his wife and daughter all tested positive, along with his daughter’s family, the television station reported.

Navarro and his daughter had to go to an area hospital.

“She was there a week and got to come home,” Navarro told WQAD. “Me, I got the ventilator. I was in an induced coma with a ventilator down my throat flat on my back, and I did not move my legs and arms for almost a month.”

Music helped Navarro get through. He learned how to play the trumpet when he was 8 after his father, Martin Navarro, gave him the instrument. He currently plays in two bands and performs at weddings and funerals, the television station reported.

“The one thing they kept reassuring us when he was on the ventilator is that he’s moving air very well,” Navarro’s daughter said. “When he plays the trumpet, he uses parts of his lungs that we don’t use.”

Navarro came out of his coma after three weeks. Three days later, on Aug. 10, his father died at the age of 98. Martin Navarro served during World War II, landed at Normandy on D-Day and fought during the Battle of the Bulge, according to his obituary.

Navarro, who was in rehab, now had some motivation.

“And I told them I have to go to my dad’s funeral and play ’Taps,’” Navarro told WQAD.

On Aug. 21, Dave Navarro sat in a wheelchair during his father’s service at St. Mary’s Mausoleum and played the mournful song.

“The first note came out so strong and clear, and I thought, ’You know what? I’m going to make it through this,’” Navarro told WQAD.

Navarro continues to have physical therapy, and he hopes to return to active playing with his bandmates, the television station reported.

“The trumpet saved his life,” said Navarro’s daughter, Melissa.

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