Texas 24-year-old hospitalized 79 days with coronavirus regrets not wearing mask


NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – A Texas woman is finally home after being hospitalized with COVID-19 for almost three months.

Doctors and nurses at Medical City North Hills are calling her recovery a miracle.

Paola Castillo left the hospital to a standing ovation after 79 days battling the coronavirus.

“There’s a point where they didn’t know if I was going to make it or not,” Castillo said

She spent more than a month in a medically-induced coma in the ICU, breathing with the help of a ventilator.

The 24-year-old said it never even crossed her mind that she could get the virus.

“Maybe if I would have just listened and worn a mask, just a simple thing, I would have avoided all this,” Castillo said. “I work at a bank. I’m always around people, but I was like, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ Never did I think I’d catch it.”

Doctors at Medical City North Hills said they’re seeing more and more young patients contract the virus. The COVID-19 unit has been full or close to full for the past six weeks, and the staff is exhausted.

“We have seen so much negativity,” said Dr. Hetal Rana. “We’ve seen a lot of patients die in our hospital that were in her situation.”

That’s why Castillo’s story is giving the medical staff such a boost.

“It just kind of re-energizes you and gives you that sense of what it means to save someone’s life and to help someone overcome such a severe illness like this,” Rana said.

Castillo isn’t completely recovered and will likely need months of rehab, but she’s just grateful to be alive.

“It’s just a miracle that I’m alive,” Castillo said. “And I’m still fighting and I’m going to keep fighting until I get better.”

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