An unvaccinated woman awoke from a lengthy coma she entered after contracting COVID-19 on the same day her family was set to terminate her life support.
Bettina Lerman, 69, had been on a ventilator at Maine Medical Center in Portland for more than a month when her son Andrew Lerman and other relatives made the heartbreaking decision. The family had been told she’d suffered “irreversible damage” from the disease, reported CNN.
“They told us, ‘Your mother is never going to wake up,’” Andrew Lerman told The Washington Post on Thursday. “It was the end of the line.”
Family members planned a funeral and scheduled the shutdown of life support on Oct. 29.
With just hours to go, a doctor called Lerman with the stunning news his mom had woken up.
“I literally dropped the phone. I was like, ‘What?’ I mean, because we were supposed to be terminating life support that day,” Lerman told WMTW News.
“She’s a miracle,” he told CNN.
Bettina and her son, who live in Tavares, Florida, had been in Portland caring for his father with cancer when all three caught COVID in September.
All three were unvaccinated. Bettina Lerman had intended to get the shot before leaving Florida, but “ran out of time,” said her son. Andrew Lerman and his father recovered.
Bettina, who has a number of preexisting health conditions, remains in a “serious” condition, a hospital spokesperson told CNN. She has been transferred out of the hospital’s ICU, but still requires oxygen, said her son.
“They’re already talking about rehab hospitals — stuff like that,” he told the Post. “Three-and-a-half weeks ago, they were talking about end-of-life stuff.”
“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 told WMTW.