A woman who made a miraculous recovery from COVID-19 after teetering on the brink of death for months in ICU thanks God and church parishioners, saying her recovery was by the power of God through their prayers.
Lee, 38, was finally wheeled to a rehabilitation center on Monday after receiving life-saving treatment from a hospital in Berlin, Germany.
Lee, who had contracted the virus while still in the late stages of her pregnancy, gave birth to her second son on March 9. To prevent cross-infection, the newborn baby was quickly whisked away shortly after birth. However, the new mother's condition suddenly deteriorated rapidly, her body unable to fight the deadly virus. Her husband was told to prepare for the worst as her lungs failed. She was rushed to intensive care, induced in a coma and ventilated on March 18.
However, after a week of ventilation, her lungs failed to respond and continued to weaken as she suffered from severe respiratory failure. She was transported to Charité hospital in Berlin where she was swiftly placed on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), a machine that pumps and oxygenates blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.
Fellow church parishioners rallied prayer support, fasting and praying around the clock for her recovery while she remained in a coma. She opened her eyes on April 14 but was too weak to speak or breathe on her own, requiring prolonged ECMO.
Lee was finally weaned off of ECMO on May 12, after 48 days of treatment in critical condition. Since then she has slowly learned to breathe on her own with oxygen support.
On May 22, Lee was finally reunited with her newborn son and was able to hold him for the first time in 75 days.
Now, no longer critical, her recovery will continue at the rehabilitation clinic. The worst has seemingly passed.
Throughout the months of life-saving treatment in the ICU, 77 days to be precise, doctors and nurses have called her "a star in the unit" and a "miracle."
"I am so thankful to the medical staff at Charité hospital for looking after me with utmost care and love. I told the doctors that my friends prayed for my recovery and for the doctors treating me, and they testified that the prayers were successful," said Lee.
"I feel I was in a dark and deep valley but finally came out of there by the power of God through your prayer," Lee said in a statement to her church parishioners. "I was shocked when I found out so many church members and even people I do not know prayed for me. I cried because I felt with my whole heart that I'm alive by your prayers."
Her outlook of everything in life has changed, as she reflected: "Just to be able to breathe.. I did not realize how thankful I should be just for that alone. Now I feel indebted, and I have a second chance to live. My life is not my own anymore, it belongs to Christ."
Lee suffered immense physical pain through her ordeal, but in particular she recalls when the drainage tube for her lungs that had been inserted through the side of her ribs became blocked. During that period of intense pain she was reminded of Jesus who had suffered the immeasurable physical pain of the cross, and she found comfort. She said, "I was able to reflect deeply about the suffering of Jesus as he was crucified and hung on the cross for our sins. So even though I was in immense pain, I found myself being even more thankful to Christ for what He has done for me."
She continued: "Today I'm here by the grace of our Lord and I feel I'm built again newly not by myself but by others' love and prayers. Thank you very much for your prayers. Your prayers worked for me. Please continue to pray for my full recovery."