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COVID-19 survivor shares her story

Posted at 6:37 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 18:37:59-05

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the first time in three months, Debbie Valente-Kobler is back home with her family. Debbie has been fighting COVID-19 and its aftermath since August.

“It’s a lot of rehabilitation," she said. "I'm taking speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy. Going through the whole thing.”

Debbie tested positive for COVID-19 in August. At one point, she had to be put on a ventilator for six weeks. But, when it was time to come off she wouldn’t wake up properly.

“And I'll tell you, it was very difficult seeing her laying in that bed with just tubes and wires and everything everywhere," her husband Dale Kobler said. "It was a traumatic, but I knew that if it was helping her at all, it was worth it.”

Eventually, doctors were able to bring Debbie out of her coma, but while she was in a coma, she lost a lot of her muscle tone.

“At one point, I was in a Hoyer lift where I was in a sling, and they would have to lift me to my standing position,” Debbie said.

Right now, Debbie is in physical therapy and is regaining her strength every day, but going forward a lot of things will be different for her. For now, she needs a wheelchair and walker to get around. And she must rely heavily on her husband.

“Covid just really messes with your body head to toe, you know," Debbie said. "Do you really wanna take those chances? That’s what I think. It's not a joke. It's not a political maneuver. It's real.”