Apex woman home after 28 days in hospital for COVID19

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Her last memory was getting the test; she doesn't even remember checking into the hospital.

"My mind went places, crazy places," Kathy Bartholomew recalls. "I didn't even know I was sleeping. I couldn't tell anything. It was just like these crazy dreams. Just crazy dreams."

Bartholomew is back home in Apex after 28 days in the hospital being treated for the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The 62-year-old had a fever that reached 104 and also spent 15 days on a ventilator.

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"I feel like I'm a miracle," she said. "When two doctors stood at my bed and said, 'You should not have survived. Every statistic was against you. You should not have survived.' I feel like I'm a miracle."

According to her husband, John, Kathy Bartholomew's first symptoms were a cough and fever. She has had some lung issues in the past but nothing major.

She had not traveled nor had she knowingly been in contact with someone who had COVID-19. In fact, her exposure was a complete mystery to her family.

"People don't understand how serious of a virus it is," John Bartholomew said. "A lot of people want to gamble that if they get it, it won't be as bad or it will be someone else."

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Though they expect a full recovery, the Bartholomews said doctors told them she will need physical therapy, occupational therapy and maybe even speech therapy for paralyzed vocal chords.

Still, Kathy Bartholomew said that she'll use whatever voice she has now to ensure everyone else knows what's at stake in this crisis and why Stay-At-Home orders matter.

"I'm going to tell them what I went through because you just don't realize how precious life is. Don't jeopardize others."

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