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COVID-19 patient celebrates 70th birthday after 176 days in hospital

Updated: Apr. 4, 2021 at 11:32 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s a big deal celebrating your 70th birthday, but exactly one year ago, Muriel White and her family weren’t even sure if she was going to make it to 70.

“She was in the hospital April 1st,” says her daughter, Amanda Johnson. “They sent her home with pneumonia on April 2nd, and two days later they called us back and told us it was covid not pneumonia and that Monday she went into the hospital and didn’t come back.”

White was taken to Christus Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital, where her family remembers, doctors gave her a death sentence. Her youngest daughter, Arlanna Victorian says after a little over two months, her condition changed.

“I would say the hardest part of the journey is the few times they called us saying she wasn’t going to make it. My mom was on the ventilator four times, and I would say it was a turnaround on I think it was day 67 when her kidney started working and she got off of dialysis.”

After 176 days in the hospital and several transfers later as a result of the hurricanes, White was finally able to come home in time for Thanksgiving.

“This is a miracle and it’s amazing,” White says. “It’s unbelievable that I’m still here and in good condition.”

While she doesn’t remember much of her time in the hospital, Johnson kept a journal of her mother’s fight with the coronavirus. But White says it’s probably a good thing she doesn’t remember it all.

“I don’t remember and I think God had a reason for that. I think if I had seen myself, I would’ve probably gave up. So I don’t remember anything.”

Her son, Troy Marks says, his mother’s journey to recovery has been remarkable.

“She’s gradually gotten very very good. Gradually. I mean she’s walking on our walker, but two months she couldn’t walk at all.”

Now, White is on the mend, healing from her time in the hospital.

“I remember going home. I couldn’t sit up. I couldn’t do anything. So, I’m just blessed to just be here and it is a miracle.”

White’s family celebrated her 70th birthday Saturday, with a COVID-safe car parade. Her family says they don’t know how they’re going to top her birthday next year. But for now, they’re just thankful she’s home.

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