The long road home: One woman’s journey to COVID-19 recovery

Coronavirus

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Sue Whitney understands the scars COVID-19 can leave on a person all too well. In January, both Sue and her husband, John, were diagnosed with the virus. While John recovered, Sue ended up in the Kettering Health’s Soin Medical Center for four-and-a-half months.

Sue (above) in her hospital bed while fighting COVID-19 for 4 and a half months. (credit: John Whitney)

For Sue, the diagnosis came as a shock. “I did everything I could to avoid it. Using the face mask, keeping away from people,” she said.

During Sue’s time in the hospital she was put on a ventilator three times, got a tracheotomy and remained unconscious for nearly two months.

John couldn’t be with his wife as much as he wanted due to pandemic restrictions at the time in hospitals, calling it the worst time in his life. “They would phone me in the morning and in the evening … give me updates. Of course those updates weren’t always good news.”

Finally, after four-and-a-half months, Sue was ready to head home.

“I would never ever want to go through again what I’ve been through in the last six months with Sue, and I wouldn’t want her to go through it … and I wouldn’t want anybody else to go through it,” said John.

John is fully vaccinated, but Sue is still working on further recovery before she can get vaccinated. Both Sue and John originally were hesitant to get the vaccine, but now are begging people to take it.

“The doubters have got to really realize that for everybody’s sake, it’s going to help people in the country,” said John.

Sue no longer requires a feeding tube, but still has problems swallowing and getting around. The Whitneys say the muscle loss in her body during her time in the hospital now require weekly physical therapy sessions for Sue to regain her strength.

Sue is also encouraging people to get their shot. “It could save your life. Please go out and get it, don’t spread it.”

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