Deanna Hair wasn’t supposed to live, let alone go back home. But the 67-year-old Michigan woman finally went through her front door — with a walker — after battling COVID-19 for more than six months in the hospital.
Hair, of Ann Arbor, left the hospital Thursday after 196 days, nearly triple the time that the most severe coronavirus patients stay, mlive.com reported. She still needs a ventilator at night, though, and she can’t walk more than 50 or so feet without resting.
“It completely changed my life,” Hair told NBC News. “The entire process, from feeling sick and going to the hospital to recovering and then rehab and being on a ventilator — all of it has just been so draining.”
Hair and husband Ken came down with the infection in late March. His symptoms were mild: a high fever, a nagging cough and vomiting.
Three days later, her long stay at Michigan Medicine started — and the problems seemed to never stop. Blood stopped flowing to her colon, which surgeons eventually had to take out. Then, 10 weeks on a ventilator, several infections in her chest and stomach, and kidney failure, NBC reported.
Three times, doctors called in Hair’s husband and their three daughters to say goodbye.
“There is something about her fighting spirit that got her through this because not everyone in this situation would have made it,” Ken Hair, 71, told NBC.
In June, Hair was moved from the specialized COVID-19 intensive care unit to the regular ICU. Weeks later, she went to just a hospital ward. In September, she finally started in-patient rehab. Then, Thursday, the final OK to go home.
Hair, though, has no illusions about the long road ahead.
“I know it’s going to be difficult, but I have my support system, which has held and cared for me since walking into that hospital,” she told NBC. “It’s what kept me going and continues to keep me going.”