Doctors said testing positive for COVID-19 is a different experience for different people.
Some recover quickly from the virus. For others, like Karen Sawatzky, recovery can take months.
Recently, Sawatzky was a patient at SSM Health St. Anthony where she spent months fighting for her life.
“Nurses are angels,” Sawatzky said. “They're your lifeline since you don't have family. They become your family, but I'm a survivor because I know I was pretty sick.”
One of her angels was her ICU nurse Brittany Meadors. Meadors said she wasn’t going to let Sawatzky give up.
“There would be really bad days where she would say, ’I can't do this anymore,’ and I would say, ‘What do you mean you can't do this anymore? You have to,'” Meadors said. “And those are the days she would do exactly what I would tell her to do. She would flip on her belly. She would wear the BiPAP all day.”
Sawatzky made it home after spending nearly three months in ICU just in time to celebrate Christmas and her 53rd wedding anniversary.
While the virus is out of Sawatzky’s system, the affects linger. She continues to receive supplemental oxygen and uses a walker to get around.
“I'm going to get rid of oxygen and I'm going (to) walk. So that's my next thing, I want to walk by myself,” Sawatzky said. “And I will because I have determination to do it.”