And now, Christina Paz is speaking exclusively to "Good Morning America" about her harrowing ordeal.
Doctors and nurses at Staten Island University Hospital cheered and clapped, saying a happy goodbye to a woman who for 15 days battled COVID-19 and finally headed home into her husband's arms.
Weeks ago, she noticed she was feeling under the weather and couldn't seem to shake it.
"I noticed the cough was getting worse, and I was having trouble breathing," she said. "Then my family started telling me, you know, you could have this. And I'm like, no, there's no way. Why would I get this? How could I get this? You know, I mean, the most I did was, you know, go out shopping and take the precaution while shopping, you know, washing the hands before washing them after."
So Paz, who had no underlying health conditions, went to the ER and eventually landed in the critical care unit. Her husband was told she might need to be put on a ventilator, and she could no longer see her kids.
In those terrifying moments, she found her will to fight for her family.
"I'd sometimes dial just to hear their voices, and that, for me, was help," she said. "That was reminding me what I was fighting for, not to lay there and give up...I just kept saying I have to keep better enough to go home. I have a lot to go home to."
More than two weeks later, she got her wish. It was a battle, but her condition improved and she was able to be discharged.
When she saw the doctors and nurses cheering her on as she left, the emotions were overwhelming.
"Honestly, it was it was something to really be thankful for," she said. "And knowing that they cared that much, to be there, to, you know, to say that goodbye, was wonderful."
She was finally able to embrace her husband again, a moment she knows was made possible by the staff at Staten Island University Hospital.
"There are not words strong enough to thank them for the care that they give," she said. "The doctors, the nurses, they all go way above and beyond. And nobody can thank them enough."
She says she hopes her story inspires others who are in the suffering through the virus, as she is proof that they should have hope.
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