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

National News

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – A North 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 novel 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 says 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 say they’re seeing more and more young patients contract the virus. The COVID unit has been full or close to full for the past six weeks — and staff are 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 someones life and to help someone overcome such a severe illness like this,” Dr. 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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