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Mother reunited with family after bout with coronavirus

Posted at 12:53 PM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 18:22:46-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After three weeks in the hospital, one Lexington woman was able to walk out of the hospital to continue her recovery from COVID-19.

She beat the virus and is back home, but her husband says she has a long recovery ahead.

Sheila Thornsberry, a physician assistant, first tested positive for coronavirus in late March.

She rested at home for the first several days. But one night while isolated from her husband, Ron, she texted she couldn't breathe, and he rushed her to Baptist Health Lexington.

Sheila was admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator. Ron says it was a difficult and helpless time for him and their college-age kids.

"It's hard on them. They're young. You don't think of losing your mom when you're 19. 20, 21, or 22 years old. And I think there were probably some times when they wondered they were gonig to," said Ron.

But she eventually showed signs of improvement. After a couple of weeks, Ron was able to communicate more with Sheila.

"They put the iPad in a sterilized bag, seal it up, and a nurse would take it into a room, and I could talk to Sheila some," said Ron.

She tested negative for the virus on Thursday. She was breathing well enough to be discharged, but once she had another negative test on Friday, she was able to be embraced warmly by her family.

"I think that even though we all had masks on, I'm sure everyone could tell we were smiling from ear-to-ear just because we were so excited, relieved, happy, just so many emotions rolled into one just to see her coming home to us," said Ron.

Ron says even though Sheila is home, she's still recovering from the impact of the virus. She is moving around with the help of a walker and using an oxygen tank at night as a precaution.

Sheila still is regaining her strength and stamina after being bedridden for 19 days.

Ron says he is thankful to the care of Baptist Health staff members and emphasized the need for social distancing and watching your symptoms.