80-year-old NYC woman beats COVID, credits bad fall for saving her life

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- An 80-year-old woman is back home after a terrible fall broke many bones, but may have ended up saving her life.

"I hurried, I tripped over my big fat feet, hit the door with my head. Very attractive beautiful black eye, actually the whole side of my face was glorious purple," Judith Hunt said.

But on Tuesday, Hunt said she was saved by that fall. The fall landed her in the hospital for five months.

That tumble back in January broke her hip and femur. But it revealed a string of other life-threatening ailments that would have otherwise gone undetected.

She later fainted during rehab at Mt. Sinai Morningside and that's when doctors discovered she had an aneurysm of the aortic valve.

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Two more operations followed: heart and abdominal surgery. And then in March, she tested positive for COVID-19.

"The COVID of all the things I had it, one of the things I least remember... before that sometime after I had the heart operation I had a stroke," Hunt said.

Dr. Malcolm Reid credits her perseverance.

"She was on a ventilator, she was actually had a tracheostomy," Reid said. "So she was on a machine for quite a while. You know she went through several major surgeries including the aortic surgery."

But that's not all. Then her kidney shut down.

"And then I got sepsis," Hunt said. "At this point I wasn't worried about anything. It had gotten to the point where it was funny. I mean it was like when is the rain of frogs and river of blood, you know leprosy, what's coming next?"

Hunt is still battling fatigue and a loss of taste due to COVID.

Earlier this month, after four attempts at rehab, she walked out of the hospital on her own.

So what was her secret in overcoming the insurmountable?

"Suddenly when you're really facing what it looked to me, like the odds of my surviving were like meh, it was sorta like well, might as well enjoy yourself," Hunt said. "Why sit around and cry? What are you gonna do?"

And if you haven't already guessed from her positive attitude, she is not slowing down.

In September, she says she's heading to the Hamptons for a month with a few friends to eat, drink and sleep and repeat.

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Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.



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