“I had to fight”: COVID-19 sends an Ontarian to an 87-day battle for survival


Eighty-seven days after being admitted to the hospital to fight COVID-19 for the first time, Jessie Jacobs was discharged Thursday morning. As the 76-year-old woman was discharged from the hospital, with cheering from health care workers, the Ontario woman was greeted by family members who have not seen her since April.

When she found out that she had been fired after spending the last three months fighting for her life, she was “nervous,” she told CTV News.

“But go out and see all the people and wonder what was going on – and [realizing] it was for me – it was amazing. ”

Jacobs tested positive for COVID-19 on April 8. She received oxygen at the hospital, but as her condition worsened, it was clear that more drastic measures had to be taken.

With her children on FaceTime with her, she agreed to be intubated and put on a ventilator.

“I had to fight,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself giving in. I’m not like that. I am not that kind of person. So I fought. ”

The 76-year-old woman was ventilated, unable to communicate with her family for a month.

“It’s scary,” Lisa daughter, Lisa Frank, told CTV News. “We thought we were going to lose it several times.”

Jacobs was eventually removed from the respiratory system on Mother’s Day and was able to surprise her children with a call from the ICU.

When her daughter picked up, she said her mother greeted her with “Hi, Lias! – an inner joke in the family.

“I used to misspell my name, which is why,” said Lisa. “And she was there, sitting there. ”

But a month of life had wreaked havoc on Jacobs. She was hospitalized for another seven weeks and had to learn to walk again.

In Canada, more than 68,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 after being tested positive. In Ontario alone, more than 30,000 people have recovered.

The exact balance of COVID-19 on long-term survivors is not yet fully known, but those who have been most severely affected by the virus and who have required intensive care – like Jacobs – may experience side effects even after the infection clears up. One of these problems is a condition called post-intensive care syndrome, which can include persistent muscle weakness and memory problems.

Jacobs’ family considers his recovery to be a miracle.

“It was almost a roll of the dice,” her son Mike Jacobs told CTV News.

“We were waiting for this day,” said Lisa. “It is a dream come true. ”

And as restrictions are loosening across the country, her family urges people to continue to take precautions and follow public health guidelines.

“You could be 15, 30 or 40, and you could do it,” said Mike. “But if you get it and you give [COVID-19] to someone older, they may not. ”

Jacobs – despite being in a high risk category due to his age – has managed to get out of it. Three months ago, she promised her family to fight. And today, she kept her word.


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