December 6 2021
10:39 AM
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Life Support

Woman with Covid-19 wakes up after weeks on a ventilator on the day she was being taken off life support. Her family had chosen her headstone

Story by David Williams, CNN

Story   Source

Published on November 19, 2021 1:57 AM
(CNN) Bettina Lerman was on a ventilator for weeks after getting Covid-19 and hadn't responded to doctors' efforts to wake her from a coma when her family made the difficult decision to take her off of life support. They made funeral arrangements and picked out her casket and headstone as they prepared to say goodbye, her son Andrew Lerman told CNN.

On the day they planned to remove her from life support, Lerman said, he got a call from one of her doctors at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

"He's like, 'Well, I need you to come here right away.' I was like, 'OK, what's wrong?'" Lerman said. "He goes, 'Well, there's nothing wrong. Your mother woke up.'"

Lerman said he dropped the phone when he got the news. More than 768,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 58.9% of the US population is fully vaccinated.

Lerman said his mother, who turns 70 in February, had a number of health conditions, including diabetes, and had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery a couple of years ago. She started showing Covid-19 symptoms in early September, was diagnosed when she went into the hospital September 12 and went on the ventilator on the 21st, he said.

She was not vaccinated but had been planning to get her shots when she got sick, he said. Her condition deteriorated and doctors told the family she wasn't...