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Western New York woman beats COVID-19 after a three-month long battle

Posted at 8:02 PM, Nov 17, 2020

SANBORN, N.Y. (WKBW) — “You know we live our lives every day and we take the people in our lives for granted and I think I took her for granted. I think we all took each other for granted,” Karen Ackley of Sanborn said.

Three months ago, Ackley, her sister Debbie and their immediate families all contracted COVID-19.

“My sister Debbie, she got the worse of it,” Ackley said.

Ackley said her sister had difficulty breathing and had to be admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital. She was put on a ventilator and stayed on it for six weeks.

“And around the six weeks mark, they wanted to wake her up, and she wasn’t waking up properly,” she said.

After switching hospitals and undergoing an MRI, doctors told Ackley her sister may have had several strokes while sedated.

“And when I saw my sister, my heart broke because it just wasn’t her. Her eyes were bulging and not focused, and her mouth was just hanging there. At this point, devastation set into the family. We didn’t know what to think.”

So, they prayed.

“I prayed that if God could just let me see her and look in her eyes so that I would know she saw me back. That’s all I wanted,” Ackley said.

And Ackley said that prayer has been answered. The next time she went to visit Debbie, “her eyelids were set at a normal level, and I could tell she was in there somewhere,” Ackley said.

Ackley said every day her sister Debbie is making immense progress, and next week she’ll be home for Thanksgiving.

“This Thanksgiving, I think, will be the most special in our family because we almost lost our sister, and she’s gonna be here,” Ackley said.

So for other families also touched by COVID-19, this is Ackley's message to you.

“There is hope for those who are seriously ill. You can come back from it. My sister's proof.”