An unvaccinated immuno-compromised woman was on her deathbed after she contracted COVID-19. Her family was told she wasn't going to make it.
Fortunately, doctors at a hospital in Portland, Maine—where she had been in a coma and kept alive on a ventilator for 60 days—were wrong.
Bettina Lerman, 69, regained consciousness just as her family was making funeral preparations and getting ready to take her off of life support.
Andrew Lerman, the patient's son, told The Washington Post:
"They told us, 'Your mother is never going to wake up.' It was the end of the line."
He was also informed his mother's lungs "were destroyed," and the doctors "thought there was no chance of survival at that point."
So Andrew and his siblings began making funeral arrangements, got rid of their mother's apartment in Florida, and donated all of her remaining belongings to others in need in her senior citizen's community.
The family even began picking out her gravestone and her funeral attire.
However, he received a phone call from the hospital on October 29 with a life-affirming update.
Andrew told WMTW News about the conversation he had with the doctor.
"He goes, 'Well I need you to come up to the hospital right away.' I'm like, 'What? Is something wrong?'"
"He goes, 'Well your mother just woke up.' I literally dropped the phone. I was like, 'What?' I mean, because we were supposed to be terminating life support that day."
Andrew and his wife immediately went to the hospital to see his mother, who apparently had been cognizant of visitors despite her unconscious state.
"We asked her, do you remember anybody talking to you and coming to see you? And she shook her head yes."
"So, even though she couldn't respond, even tho she was in that coma, she knew people came to visit her."
The severity of Bettina's COVID-19 illness was further exacerbated due to her preexisting health conditions, which included diabetes, and the fact she had recently undergone a quadruple-bypass surgery.
Bettina lives in Florida but had been in Maine to help Andrew, who is also unvaccinated, look after his father who was sick with stage 4 cancer.
While there, all three of them contracted COVID-19.
Andrew's father recovered quickly but Andrew said the illness was "brutal" for him. But it was Bettina who suffered the most.
"She was planning on getting vaccinated before she left Florida, but she ran out of time," Andrew told the Post.
"She was going to get vaccinated up here, but she came down with COVID."
People on social media were stunned by what doctors called a "medical miracle."
Despite the miraculous breakthrough, Andrew said they are not out of the woods yet.
Although Bettina was taken out of the intensive care unit and is slowly recovering, she still requires the assistance of a ventilator at night so she could sleep.
"They're already talking about rehab hospitals — stuff like that," said Andrew, adding, "Three-and-a-half weeks ago, they were talking about end-of-life stuff."
"We give her words of encouragement every day. We tell her to keep on fighting," he told the news station.
After enduring such an emotional experience, Andrew and his family came out of it with the following takeaway.
"I think the right thing to do is to get vaccinated, so if one of our family members gets it again it won't be that bad," he said.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help with covering medical costs.
So far, they reached $4,430 out of their $25,000 goal.