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‘She defied the odds’: After near 6-month battle with Covid-19, Kentucky woman on road to recovery

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    LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WLKY) — A Kentucky woman is looking back on her lengthy battle with COVID-19 now that she is on the road to recovery six months later.

“If I was going to die, I wanted to be with my family and not have to be at the hospital by myself,” Olivia Tudor said.

Tudor felt time wasn’t on her side after contracting COVID-19 in November. With an autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness, the 30-year-old Richmond native’s condition grew worse in a matter of days.

“Dec. 5, they had to incubate me and put me on a ventilator and on Dec. 6, I was airlifted to UofL’s Jewish Hospital,” Tudor said.

“She couldn’t eat, she couldn’t breathe on her own, so the whole body was just severely deconditioned and broken down,” said Dr. Lewis Hargett, at the Frazier Rehab Center.

Unable to breathe on her own, she was on ECMO for more than three months. It’s a machine that takes the blood out of a patient, oxygenates it and puts it back into the body. A 50/50 shot but worth it to Tudor’s family.

“There were times when the Doctor said you all are just keeping her alive, you need to let her go because she’s never going to recover from this,” Tudor said.

It was a recovery that has taken months but took a turn for the better in the spring.

“She has defied the odds given the longevity that she’s been sick,” Dr. Hargett said.

“I don’t really remember waking up until March,” Tudor said.

Now with intense therapy at the Frazier rehab center, she’s making progress. Just last week, she was able to see outside for the first time since 2020. On Friday, she’ll be released from the hospital after spending a total of 175 days in the hospital.

While Tudor says she is counting down until she’s back home with family and friends; to the countless doctors, nurses, and workers these past few months, you all are now considered family.

“I love them and I thank them for all the effort they put in to save me, the tiring hours, there’s been doctors that stayed over their time just to stay with me and made sure I made it through the night,” Tudor told WLKY.

When Tudor is discharged Friday, we’re told a police and fire truck motorcade will be waiting for her in Richmond, Kentucky, to celebrate her homecoming.

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