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Madison County woman welcomed home after 175-day COVID-19 hospital battle

Posted at 11:21 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 23:25:32-04

WACO, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Madison County woman’s six-month hospital battle with COVID-19 is finally over.

Olivia Tudor tested positive for COVID-19 in November. Within a week, she was hospitalized at Richmond Baptist Health as her health quickly deteriorated.

“I was refusing to go because I said if I was going to die, I wanted to die at my home with my family and not alone in the hospital,” Tudor recalled.

Tudor’s fight with COVID-19 was complicated by an underlying health condition. She suffers from Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disorder that weakens a person’s muscles.

Olivia Tudor was put on a ventilator for 125 days, and underwent three months of ECMO.

“Nothing is going to take you to your knees any quicker than to hear a doctor tell you that your daughter is probably not going to make it,” said Terry Tudor, Olivia’s mom. “You turn to God so hard.”

Tudor started breathing on her own in April, about five months after her initial hospitalization.

The recovery process was slow and tedious, but Tudor said she relied on her faith and family.

“God gave me another chance at life,” she said. “For the longest time, I didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. And when I finally saw that light, that's when I pushed hard. You know, I was like, ‘We're going home.’ So I fought.”

Tudor was discharged from UofL Health - Jewish Hospital on Friday.

She has an oxygen tank and is in a wheelchair while she builds up strength in her legs to walk alone, but she’s on the path to a full recovery.

“COVID-19 is evil. It’s of Satan, but God saw reason for Olivia to still be here,” said Terry Tudor. “I’m so blessed she’s home.”

On her way home after being discharged from the hospital, Tudor met up with Madison County Fire and Police as they escorted the family for a homecoming parade.

Family, friends and loved ones lined the streets to cheer for Tudor as she drove by.

“Just know you're not alone. God loves you. Your family loves you. And you're not alone,” said Tudor’s sister Ashley Parker.

“We always knew you’d make it home. You had to come home, Olivia,” said Kirby Tudor, Olivia’s nephew.

“I’m not a hugger,” said Terry Tudor. “But I’ll hug the daylights out of her. I’ll take a hug any day.”

Olivia Tudor said she hopes her story will help encourage others to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

She will be getting her first shot next week.