Woman expected to die from Covid opens eyes after life support pulled out

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

A woman given just hours to live after being diagnosed with Covid-19 has survived, leaving her family and doctors speechless.

Rhonda Withem, 62, tested positive for coronavirus on November 7 and while she initially quarantined at home, her symptoms worsened and she was admitted to the ICU at Saline Memorial Hospital in Arkansas.

After two weeks on a ventilator Ms Withem failed to respond to doctors and her family was told she would never breathe on her own again.

Rhonda Withem in hospital on a ventilator
Rhonda Withem, 62 was diagnosed with Coronavirus and wasn't expected to live after she was removed from her ventilator. Source: THV11 News

With the advice of doctors, the family made the heartbreaking decision to remove Ms Withem from the ventilator and prepared to say goodbye.

"The doctors said it would just be hours once they took everything off,” Ms Withem’s daughter, Nichole Brewer, told TVH11 News.

Woman makes miraculous recovery

Almost immediately Ms Withem opened her eyes and smiled at her daughters. Ms Brewer told CNN she even tried to wave to her family who were standing outside her hospital room due to Covid restrictions.

"When they pulled everything off, she started waking up and saw my sister and [was] raising her hand to wave at us," Ms Brewer said.

Nichole Brewer with her mother in hospital
Nichole Brewer (right) was told her mother (left) wouldn't survive Covid, now she is recovering in rehab and will be home on Boxing Day. Source: THV11 News

"She just came alive, it’s just a miracle”.

For the first time in over a month Ms Brewer and her sister have been able to hug their mother and want to share her recovery story to inspire others dealing with the uncertainty of Covid.

"Not after seeing her for a month, giving her a big hug, and just getting to squeeze her neck, it was just amazing. Don’t give up on your faith or your hope. We’ve seen it,” Ms Brewer said.

Ms Withem is currently in rehab gaining back the strength she lost in her battle with Covid. She is due to leave hospital on Boxing Day.

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