Professional drag racing technician, COVID survivor shares joy of victory with his UAB caregivers

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — People all over the world followed Ervin “Jock” Allen’s story 12 months ago when the Jasper native and lead technician for NHRA Birmingham-based Steve Johnson Racing was battling COVID-19 at the UAB Hospital.

On May 20— 344 days after he was discharged — Allen came back to UAB Hospital to thank his caregivers and shared with them the trophy from his team’s first-place finish at the NHRA’s 4 Wide Nationals event this past week. 

“Several months ago, Jock shared an analogy with the staff in the Medical Intensive Care Unit about how he understood their goal was to get him out of the hospital healthy and that his goal as a professional motorcycle mechanic was to create the fastest motorcycles and win the trophy they give out at the competitions,” said James Stout, director of Quality Assurance/Patient Safety in UAB’s Special Care Unit, in a press release.

“Almost a year after discharging, they won one of those elusive trophies, and we could not be happier for Jock and the Steve Johnson Racing team. We’re thrilled Jock is doing well, and we appreciate that he wanted to come back here and thank the staff and share with them that this is their trophy, too, for helping him to recover and get back to doing what he loves,” Stout continued in the release.

Allen spent a considerable portion of his 32 days in UAB Hospital on the Medical Intensive Care Unit where the sickest COVID-19 patients are treated and where the majority of them often are on ventilators. Allen was ventilated for longer than 21 days, which is a dangerous threshold for recovery. 

“I don’t remember a lot of what happened while I was here, but I do know the staff at UAB took really good care of me,” Allen said.

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