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'Walking through the doors is such an amazing feeling': After 7-month battle with COVID, Glendale woman finally goes home

During her seven-month battle, she endured four cardiac arrests, was placed on the lung transplant list, and now has a pacemaker.

GLENDALE, Arizona — After spending nearly seven months in the hospital, fighting the effects of COVID-19, a Glendale woman is finally back home with her family.

Claudia Patterson was admitted into St. Joseph’s Hospital on July 8, 2021. Shortly after her arrival, she was placed on a ventilator, then an ECMO - a device that oxygenates the blood, bypassing the lungs and allowing them to rest and heal.

“At that point, her lung capacity or function was only at 15%,” said Raymond Patterson, her husband.

During her seven-month battle, she endured four cardiac arrests, was placed on the lung transplant list, and now has a pacemaker. It’s the care and compassion she was shown by the staff at St. Joe’s that she and her husband credit for her recovery.

“Everyone that was involved has become family,” Raymond said. “And we are forever grateful for what they did to keep Claudia alive.”

In a familiar scene, as Claudia was discharged from St. Joseph’s Thursday morning, the staff lined the halls, clapping and high-fiving her as she made her way out of the building.

As close to the staff as she was, it was good to go home.

“I was in the hospital for seven long months - not weeks, but months,” said Claudia. “So, to be out of the hospital is... I can't even describe the feeling.”

Coming home was a new experience for Claudia as well. During the time she spent in the hospital, the new home they were building was completed. Thursday was, in a lot of ways, a new beginning.

“Walking through the doors is such an amazing feeling just to be able to enjoy my new home,” said Claudia. “My husband did an amazing job of keeping everything intact."

She never got the COVID vaccine and now wonders if the vaccine would have lessened the severity of her infection.

“If you're questioning whether you should get the COVID shot, my opinion is that you should because I didn't,” said Claudia. “I would just say do whatever it takes for you and your family to be protected.”

Claudia still has lingering effects that will need constant monitoring; her lung function will need more monitoring to ensure their proper healing and a new pacemaker that she will now learn to live with. 

But all of that will be addressed. On this day, she is just happy to be home with her family.

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