A family in Waycross, Georgia, is celebrating after a mom of four barely survived COVID-19. Lisa Martin, 49, spent 95 days in the hospital. Doctors thought she wouldn’t make it, and her family had decided to give her 11 more days before taking her off the ventilator. But on the last day, Martin woke up.
Finally back at home, Martin spoke to First Coast News about her harrowing ordeal. “Before Sept. 27, which is the day I entered the hospital, I was in pretty much perfect health,” she said. But after getting COVID-19, everything changed. “I finally just told Jeff, ‘My lungs just hurt so bad,’ and I said, ‘I’ve got to go to the ER.’ When I went to the ER, I thought I was going to be there for a couple of hours.”
Instead, she ended up spending 59 days on a ventilator, and 40 days in an induced coma. “The machine couldn’t keep up with her oxygen needs,” Jeff Martin, her husband, told First Coast News. “When I got into the room, her eyes were open and fixed, and the doctors said they didn’t think she was going to make it.”
While she was in the coma, she suffered a frontal lobe stroke. According to a Facebook post from the hospital, Memorial Satilla Health, Martin was truly comatose by October 20, with her eyes fixed. Her family was told to begin saying their goodbyes, and they decided to give her 11 days before removing her from the ventilator and allowing her to die.
“But God had other plans,” the hospital’s post read. “On the eleventh day, Lisa broke through the sedatives and began tracking Jeff with her eyes and she moved her hand.”
“I can’t wrap my head around what all has happened,” she told PEOPLE. “I am shocked but amongst all the overwhelming feelings, I feel like this is definitely a God thing. I got to a point where I felt like no one cared for me. I didn’t have a lot of friends, my kids are all grown up and independent, and my husband works all the time. I was lonely, but this experience has shown me how loved I truly am.”
It hasn’t been an easy recovery for her; she doesn’t remember the three-and-a-half months she spent in the hospital at all, and when she woke from her coma, she couldn’t speak or move. She had to relearn everything — how to walk, talk, eat, and even tie her shoes. She said she still has to wear oxygen at all times, and has to use a wheelchair or a walker, but doctors now expect her to make a full recovery.
Madison Martin, 27, is Jeff and Lisa’s daughter. She told PEOPLE the experience has been a roller coaster of emotions, but ultimately, their belief in God got them through it.
“Our family has always had a strong Christian faith, but going through this has changed our lives for the better,” Madison said. “Did it suck for my mom to get COVID, almost die and now fight to get back to having a normal life? Absolutely! But if God wanted to use my mom as an example on how to keep faith during struggles, dark times and hardships, then I thank God for using my mom.”
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