COVID-19 survivor heading home after nearly losing her life
On Thursday morning, one patient at Byrd Hospital in Leesville finally received the news she's been waiting, and Friday morning she'll wake up in her own home after becoming one of the 7,000 people in the state to recover from the COVID-19 virus.
Byrd Hospital staff members greeted Mary Williams with kettlebells, cheers, and handcrafted signs, while her family waited on her in the parking lot.
Staff members helped Mary into a car driven by her husband, as she got ready to go home. When asked if she ever thought she would see this moment, Mary said "no."
"No, I didn't," Mary said. "But I am thankful and grateful that I did. The good Lord just wasn't ready for me yet."
Doctors at Byrd Hospital said Mary was one of their worst cases they've seen since the start of the pandemic.
"She was on a lot of oxygen," David Aymond, a doctor at Byrd Hospital said. "On day three, she required a medical ventilator. She remained on mechanical ventilation for actually about 14 days. So, she doesn't remember about 14 days throughout that time. She was the sickest of the sick that these patients can get. She required a very high level of mechanical ventilation and life support."
Mary's transformation from life support to a full recovery is something her husband Ray Williams, the Pleasant Hill Police Chief, called a miracle.
"When we see what he will do, that makes us really appreciate serving God and giving Him praise," Chief Williams said. "She's a miracle, and God is a miracle worker. These tears, I'm shedding y'all are tears of joy...I have a heart."
A heart filled with joy, as Chief Williams will take his wife back home form the first time in a while.
"This is the reason why we get into healthcare for days like this," Kevin Quinn, the interim CEO at Byrd Hospital said to Mary. "So, we can send people home that's had a really good outcome. We want to thank you for being a fighter."
The Williams family said they are thankful for the great amount of support they received. However, they do ask that everyone will stay at home and follow the social distancing guidelines.