A 66-year-old nurse spent eight months in the St. Mary Medical Center battling the coronavirus. On Monday, she returned home to her husband and daughter.
According to PEOPLE, Merlin Pambuan, a longtime ICU nurse, worked four decades at the same hospital she was admitted to in Long Beach, California. She was diagnosed with the coronavirus in the spring, Balitang America reported.
During her stay, her Pambuan’s coworkers became her caretakers; they told Balitang that she was near death several times throughout her hospitalization.
“This is what we live for … seeing our patients going home alive and in good condition,” Dr. Maged Tanios told the outlet.
“This is my second life,” Pambuan added.
The nurse cannot remember the period between May to September, she was on a breathing machine, and she could not walk when she woke up. But on Monday, she walked out of the hospital.
“I said, ‘No, I’m going to fight this COVID.’ I start moving my hand [and] a physical therapist come and say, ‘Oh, you’re moving your hands,’ and I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to fight; I’m going to fight. I’m trying to wiggle my toes. I’m going to fight it,'” she recalled.
She has accepted that she still has a long way to a full recovery, which she admits will be “very difficult.”
She offered words of encouragement to those going through the same ordeal. “Don’t lose hope. Just fight. Fight, because look at me — I’m going home, and I’m walking.”