PORTLAND, Maine (WFLA) — A Florida woman’s COVID-19 recovery is being called miraculous after she woke from a coma the same day her family planned to take her off the ventilator.
Bettina Lerman, 69, contracted the virus in September while visiting Maine, WMTW reported. Bettina’s son, Andrew Lerman, said she had underlying health conditions and plans to get vaccinated before falling ill with COVID-19.
The virus destroyed her lungs, leading doctors to believe she would not survive. By the time the decision was made to take her off the ventilator, Bettina had been on the ventilator for over a month.
While the odds of her survival looked slim, Andrew said his family began planning funeral arrangements. They were even in the process of buying a headstone on October 29 when Bettina’s doctor called to say she’d woken up.
“I literally dropped the phone. I was like, what? I mean, because we had to end the ventilator that day,” Andrew told WMTW.
Bettina also had memories of people talking to her in a coma, but she was unable to respond, Andrew added.
Andrew and Bettina, who live in Tavares, Florida, were in Maine when Bettina became ill. The two were visiting Andrew’s father to care for him while he battled stage 4 cancer, according to CNN.
Andrew, his wife and his father also contracted COVID-19 but recovered from their symptoms.
A hospital spokesman said Bettina was still in serious condition, but Andrew said his mother had not suffered any organ failure, CNN reported. He even said that no one can explain his mother’s recovery.
“So they can’t explain it on the medical side,” he said. “Maybe it’s on the religious side. I’m not that religious, but I’m starting to believe there’s something that helped her. I do not know.”
As of Wednesday, Bettina should be able to move her arms and breathe on her own for a few hours while receiving oxygen. Doctors are now focusing on getting her into rehab and rebuilding the muscle strength she lost during her coma.