Angela Silnik has come a long way since March.
That’s when she was first diagnosed with the coronavirus. Silnik, who at just 66 had no underlying conditions, says it started with the common symptoms like a cough and a fever.
“I started to have no taste. No smell. Very, very weak,” she said.
Within about a week, things took a serious turn.
“I couldn't breathe. I was gasping my last breath,” said Silnik. “I told them, 'please call 911. I can’t breath anymore'.”
Her blood oxygen level was dangerously low and she was rushed to the hospital. That was the beginning of April.
“They asked me did I have a DNR? I said no. They said 'do you want to be resuscitated?' I said no.”
But family changed her mind.
“I thought about my grandchildren and I said 'that’s it, do it'...They’re my life. My kids. My boyfriend,” said Silnik through tears.
Silnik was on a ventilator at Cleveland Clinic’s ICU in Weston for 17 days. She was in and out of consciousness. Things got so serious, her son actually made funeral arrangements fearing she wouldn’t make it.
“For some reason the end of that day I guess God said that’s a better plan I’m keeping you. I just came right out of it," she said.
In all, Silnik spent about a month in the hospital. She told us about having terrible dreams from all the medication. She also said she began losing her hair. She thinks it was likely from all the medication and the constant bedrest.
“It just fell out in globs, in the shower. I was afraid to touch it,” said Silnik.
She’s been home from the hospital for weeks now and no longer has the virus. However, her battle is far from over. While her lungs are much stronger now, she’s had to regain her physical strength to do little things like walk again.
The near-death experience has lead her to start seeing a psychiatrist.
Silnik said she’s sharing her story hoping that more people will begin to understand how serious this is - and why the rules, like wearing a mask, actually matter.
“The effects after, nobody tells you about until you have it. They don't know,” she said.