DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A West Milton woman’s life was turned upside down when she tested positive for COVID-19.

Her health took a turn for the worse and her doctors decided to try a treatment, one that not many survive.

Miami Valley Hospital recently purchased new technology that allows doctors to treat patients with ECMO, the first hospital to do so in the Dayton region. The procedure is the last resort for many, but for one local woman it was the last chance she needed.

What should’ve been 31-year-old Shayna Stanley’s birthday, she was rushed to the hospital on July 22 after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I barely remember anything from that day, I kind of remember that they said I’d be on a ventilator but wasn’t sure what that even was, and then I woke up two months later in the hospital,” said Stanley.

For that two-month period, Miami Valley Hospital’s medical team fought for Stanley to survive. They decided she was a candidate for ECMO, a treatment that places a set of tubes into major veins, pulls the blood out of your body, heats it, blends with oxygen, takes out carbon dioxide and finally returns it to the body.

“For Shayna’s case what it effectively does is act as an artificial lung, external type lung so her lungs can rest and provide the body with the oxygen it needs by removing the carbon dioxide,” said Dr. Vince Nardy, medical director of adult ECMO at Miami Valley Hospital.

To be a candidate for ECMO treatment, there’s a long list of criteria that must be met, including having a reversible illness, patient’s medical history and more. Typically, it’s the last resort option to save someone’s life.

“It’s a very difficult discussion because at some point we have to decide potentially who will live and who may die,” said Dr. Nardy. “All these things worked in Shayna’s favor to allow us to give her this opportunity and chance to allow her body to heal.”

Stanley says her message to caregivers at Miami Valley Hospital is one she’ll tell for the rest of her journey.

“They took such good care of me even when I didn’t know them and I was asleep,” said Stanley. “They’d do my nails and talk to me. I’m so grateful for them, they do such great things, they’ve lost so many people themselves so this is a win not only for me but for the entire team.”

Currently, Stanley is going through physical therapy and getting ready to start speech therapy to repair vocal chords that deteriorated while being on the ventilator.