Roanoke mother comes home for the holidays after months in hospital battling COVID-19

Coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A Roanoke mother is back home, just in time for the holidays, after being released Wednesday from a months-long hospital stay battling the coronavirus.

“I asked the doctor ‘Am I going to die?’ and they didn’t really answer,” said COVID-19 survivor Jessica Gray.

Gray is thankful to be back home with her mother and four-year-old daughter after having the toughest fight of her life.

“Relief doesn’t even describe it. It’s just so wonderful. She’s fought so hard to get here,” said Jennifer Henderson, Gray’s mother.

Gray, 33, was released on Wednesday, Nov. 24 after she spent 74 days in the hospital fighting COVID-19.

“I remember they sent me to the COVID ICU, and I remember it just getting worse really fast,” said Gray.

Gray developed double pneumonia COVID and a blood clot in one of her lungs, which collapsed twice. She was placed on a ventilator for 22 days.

Jessica Gray on ventilator (Photo: Courtesy Jessica Gray)

“It was absolutely horrible,” said Henderson. “I had a son who passed away in 2005, and the only thing I could think was it was too soon to lose her too, and I was just terrified the entire time. But she’s back now, and she’s not going anywhere. And he can’t have her. One day we will all be together, but for now, you are here with us.”

“I actually dreamt about him, too,” said Gray about her brother who passed in 2005. “He was saying it wasn’t my time.”

Gray tested positive for COVID-19 one day before her scheduled vaccine appointment.

“I regret not getting it done sooner,” said Gray.

The Roanoke mother says she now looks at life differently and advocates for others to get vaccinated.

“I’m hoping that my story can kind of open their eyes. Like, this can happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter how healthy you are, how old you are. And I think people need to definitely take it more seriously,” said Gray.

Gray says she’s scheduled to get vaccinated the first week of December and plans to have her daughter vaccinated once she turns five years old.

If you would like to provide financial relief for Gray, a donation account has been created.

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