A South Florida woman is working to regain her physical strength with therapy, but she says it was her strength to survive that got her through her darkest days with COVID-19.
“They admitted me for double pneumonia. I was there from April 15. April 20, I blacked out and they put me on a ventilator. I was on a ventilator for 21 days,” said COVID-19 survivor, Stefanie Miller.
Miller says her health issues started at the end of March when she developed a cough and wheezing. Then, her mother tested positive for the coronavirus.
Miller was initially in the hospital to get her asthma in check after developing a cough, but then went home. Six days later, she says she started getting fever and chills and was admitted back in the hospital and diagnosed with COVID-19.
Miller says she was in an out of consciousness for days and remembers the moment she was taken off a ventilator and woke up to see her doctor.
“I could barely talk. I whispered to him, 'Thank you for saving my life.' I could not lift a muscle of my body. The only thing that I was able to lift was a finger. So it’s scary to wake up 21 days later and not be able to move anything,” Miller said.
It was over a month before she was released with a touching send-off from Memorial Hospital West on May 27, then eight days of rehab before she was able to finally go home on June 4.
As she went home, Miller even got a proposal from her fiancée outside the hospital doors. She says it feels like a miracle that she survived.
Miller was on Remdesivir and is now doing physical therapy at home, but she says she still has a long way to go.
“My voice is not back yet, I’m still learning to re-walk. I see an ear, nose and throat doctor, I see a neurologist, I see a pulmonologist, my primary doctor, it’s no joke,” Miller said.
The second grade teacher in Broward says she’s also concerned as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Florida, so she wants people to know that this is serious as she fought the virus firsthand.
“My message is to wear a mask and to stay home unless it’s necessary and take precautions, because it’s no joke,” Miller said.