Coronavirus: SoCal couple recounts wife's ordeal battling COVID-19, followed by 'miraculous' recovery
"I had got the bad news at one point -- they didn't think she was going to make it," her husband said. "But, you know, miracles happen."
A Southern California woman nearly lost her battle with COVID-19 but made a remarkable recovery. Her husband, a pastor, had lived through his own near-death experience nearly two decades ago, and now both are celebrating their health.
The staff at Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center gave Chriselda Davis a joyful sendoff when she was discharged.
"I feel good," she later told ABC7 in an interview from the couple's home, where she celebrated her 46th birthday after being released from the hospital. "Every day I'm getting stronger."
Her husband Tony was by her side after a nearly monthlong battle with COVID-19.
Chriselda said the couple attended church on March 14 -- before any stay-at-home orders were issued. Soon after, flu-like symptoms set in.
"I was having fever, chills really bad cough," she said.
Tony said they would soon learn 10 other people at the church service tested positive for the coronavirus.
"We took the test .. and they said, 'Look, bring her in right away," he recalled.
She entered the emergency room on March 22. "My breathing had slowed down a whole lot," Chriselda said. Her condition quickly worsened.
"She said, 'Babe, I can't breathe,'" Tony said, his voice choked with emotion, 'and it broke my heart and I said, 'Chris, we're going to pray.'"
Chriselda was sedated on a ventilator for 11 days, with a medical team caring for her.
"When I was speaking with Mr. Davis, trying to relay that she's still critically ill but we have hope," said Kaiser's Dr. Susie Yim Yeh, who specialized in pulmonary diseases.
Tony, a pastor, prayed outside the hospital.
"I had got the bad news at one point -- they didn't think she was going to make it. But, you know, miracles happen," he said, then turned to his wife. "We have a house full of miracles, babe."
"Yes," she agreed.
Tony is a survivor himself. In 2003 he was shot five times by gang members.
"I died for 30 minutes and I had an out-of-body experience," he said. "I saw heaven. God said, 'This is not your time.' He sent me back with a message of forgiveness and triumph over tragedy."
The gospel singer got his voice back and made a full recovery.
"I'm a miracle man," he said. "They called me a miracle man."
Some would now use that word to describe his wife's recovery.
"I still can't walk too far without being out of breath," Chriselda said, "but God brought me this far, and he hasn't brought me this far to leave me now."