MOUNTAINSIDE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Back in April, 7 On Your Side started a journey to help save the life of a beloved mom and grandmother who was stricken by COVID-19 and on death's door.
Now, after months of ventilators, hospitals, and rehab facilities, the story has a happy ending.
Maria "Lurdes" DaSilva's family believes in miracles. The family has waited nearly five months, keeping daily vigils outside her rehab window every day.
But 138 days after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and following 34 days hospitalized on a ventilator, this beloved Nana has recovered and blew kisses to her family as she was wheeled out of rehab.
Her daughters had been pleading for convalescent plasma, a treatment that has been helping some patients fight off the virus and which recently received emergency authorization from the FDA.
When they couldn't get the plasma, they turned to 7 On Your Side.
"We had to try something," relative Diana Da Cunha said. "We've seen you work miracles before, so we had to try."
We connected a local blood bank with the hospital, and DaSilva received the transfusion and initially improved. She suffered a setback when her condition then worsened, but the -- finally -- she was able to breathe on her own.
"We are truly grateful," sister Connie Jesus said. "I truly believe that's what saved her."
And finally, she was strong enough to leave rehab -- a get those hugs in person.
"Obrigado (thank you in Portuguese), Channel 7," she said as she was driven off to be greeted by her grandchildren.
The family gathered to welcome her, and they had a special shout out for us.
"Welcome home!" they said. "Thank you 7 On Your Side!"
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.
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