Kentucky woman talks about long, harrowing fight with COVID-19

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 4:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Waco, Ky. woman’s return home after months of being in the hospital due to COVID-19 turned into a community-wide celebration last month.

Doctors and loved ones describe Olivia Tudor as a walking miracle. But, Olivia says that’s not how she sees herself. She says she’s just a woman, whose faith and family, helped her survive the unthinkable.

At 30-years-old, Oliva was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in November. She spent the majority of that time in a coma and then on an ECMO machine, which is basically an artificial lung.

Doctors in Louisville told her family to come in and say their goodbyes. But, Olivia and her family refused to give up hope.

And in May, despite all odds, Olivia was welcomed back to Waco by a community-wide parade.

After spending months in a hospital bed, Olivia’s road to recovery is only just beginning. She’ll spend many more months in therapy and in and out of doctor’s appointments.

But, she gets to do it all in town this time, and with her family by her side.

“And I would say, God, you know. I couldn’t do it then without him and I can’t do it now without him,” Tudor said. “I don’t know where the strength comes from because it’s hard. You’ve really got to put your mind to it and focus.”

Olivia’s road to recovery is still filled with months worth of speed bumps.

“Just your normal every day, you know, going to the bathroom, taking a shower. Those things are challenging because they take a lot of work,” Tudor said.

For Olivia, and others in similar situations, there’s another challenge.

“Unfortunately, in our area here in Madison County, there isn’t coverage that accepts Medicaid,” said Olivia’s sister, Ashely Parker. “So, Home Health would normally come in a few hours a week for somebody like Olivia who left the hospital and isn’t fully capable of functioning on their own and they would help assist.”

Parker says their own family members had to be trained and dedicate time to doing the job instead.

“There’s nobody that’s excepting new clients, there’s nobody that’s able to come into the home because of COVID restrictions,” Parker said. “So, it’s just more hurdles and more struggles.”

Olivia still has months of occupational and physical therapy to do. She and her family want to use her story as an example and a push for everyone to get the vaccine.

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