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Houston woman goes home 162 days after being admitted into the hospital with COVID-19

While family calls Valerie Garcia’s new lease on life a blessing, her physician, Dr. Bryan Lipsen, with PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Humble, called it a miracle.

HUMBLE, Texas — Nearly half a year after being admitted into the hospital, a Houston woman gets to be with her family on Friday night at home.

Valerie Garcia has spent the last 5-and-a-half months battling COVID-19.

She has battled coronavirus since Oct. 15, 2020.

Credit: KHOU

When asked if she was a fighter, Garcia quickly responded, “Yes, I am.”

Now, 162 days later, she’s headed home.

“I still don’t have the strength to walk, so it’s going to be a tough battle. I have to add on,” Garcia said.

While in the hospital, she experienced respiratory and heart failure.

Doctors had to put her on a breathing machine to keep her alive.

“She told me before she was intubated, she was going to fight. She just needed more time and that’s what -- we kept fighting for her," said her daughter, Victoria Estrada.

Estrada said the impact COVID-19 has on families is real.

“You never know how it’s going to affect you,” Estrada said. “We never imagined this with my mom even with her underlying conditions, but it just, everything went so fast downhill in the beginning.”

While they call Garcia’s new lease on life a blessing, her physicians, Dr. Bryan Lipsen, with PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Humble, called it something else.

“It’s a miracle from God that this lady could go through all this and still be with us,” Dr. Lipsen said.

Credit: KHOU

Garcia plans to focus on her recovery and catching up on time and memories the virus stole from her and her family.