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Omaha woman overcomes COVID-19, inspires hospital staff

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: May. 15, 2020 at 7:08 AM CDT
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An Omaha woman walked out of CHI Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute Thursday after battling COVID-19 for weeks.

Ruby Jones is in the group of people most susceptible to the virus: Shes older and has other health issues.

Thursday night she’s at home with her family. Our sister station WOWT 6 News was there when Jones walked out of the hospital to applause.

“She was so sick and just the blessing of being healed here. I mean, they took such good care of her and they kept in contact with us,” said Cynthia Walker, a family member. “We’re forever grateful. We’re so grateful for everything.”

After more than 40 days in the hospital, Jones is going home. Her entire family has been hoping and praying for this day.

“Oh, my goodness. The not knowing and being afraid that we were going to lose her. We’re seeing so many deaths on TV,” Walker said.

When Jones was admitted to CHI Immanuel she had mild COVID-19 symptoms -- but soon the symptoms grew very serious.

“She had a very rapid decline and ended up with severe respiratory problems, requiring her to go to the ICU. Eventually, she ended up being on a ventilator and being intubated,” said Dr. Erik Jacobson.

Jones was on a ventilator for 15 days. Her family is thankful the medical team provided great care even though the odds for the senior citizen with chronic health issues were against her.

“There is a lot of risk with that and the chances of mortality are extremely high,” Jacobson said.

Jones beat the odds. After leaving the ICU, she faced two weeks of intense rehabilitation.

“Ruby being our first COVID positive patient -- she taught us a lot. It was unique for us to step-up, do things a little differently than we have done in the past,” said Dr. Aishwarya Patil.

Jones walked out of the hospital surrounded by family, showing our community and the entire country that there is light shining through the dark COVID-19 cloud.

“We sincerely hope this inspires people to have patience. Have faith and just really know there are chances to come through this,” Patil said. “Ruby not only helped us, but inspired all of us to be stronger and to be better every day.

The family said they are planning a special dinner for Jones Thursday night. Jones and her family wanted to tell her story to give all some hope and good news during the pandemic.

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