Rhonda Withem's doctors told her she would not survive Coronavirus. However, with enough attention and rehabilitation, she is regaining her strength.
Rhonda Withem was diagnosed with the deadly Coronavirus earlier this year. She was told by her doctors that she would not survive for more than a few hours off of the ventilator. So, fully prepared to lose their loving Withem, her family made the difficult decision to take her off of it. They were ready to say goodbye to her, but her daughter Nicole Brewer noticed that she seemed to "come alive" when she was taken off of the ventilator that kept her breathing while she had COVID. Withem even raised her hand to wave hello to her family and tried to flash a smile at them, CNN reports.
Rhonda Withem's family was ready to say goodbye as the Covid patient was taken off her ventilator. Then she smiled.— CNN International (@cnni) December 19, 2020
Now her family says she's getting stronger and stronger each day. https://t.co/mILJpLfktl
Her daughter, sister, and brother-in-law watched through a glass window as the hospital staff at Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton, Arkansas, took her off of the ventilator on November 29. Brewer shared, "When they pulled everything off, she started waking up and saw my sister and [was] raising her hand to wave at us." Her mother had tested positive on November 7 and quarantined at home at first. Originally, she just had a headache, coughing, and congestion. However, her condition soon got worse. As her health deteriorated, she was hospitalized within a week and immediately placed on the ventilator.
Withem did not respond to her doctor's efforts to wean her off of the ventilator. Nearly two weeks later, her doctor claimed that she would never be able to breathe on her own ever again, according to Brewer. The staff at the hospital thought the moment she was taken off the ventilator would be her final one, but seeing her wave and smile gave her family immense hope. Nonetheless, they did not know if she would make it. To her family's surprise, Withem kept getting better and better every single day, and she was eventually able to move out of the ICU into a regular COVID-19 unit.
As #COVID19 vaccines are rolled out, #healthworkers need to know how to administer them safely & effectively. WHO, @UNICEF & partners are offering a free 3-hour online course.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) December 18, 2020
Start learning on #OpenWHO today:
👉 https://t.co/LJkoZ4wBGZ pic.twitter.com/xCuyg4DJJD
On her other daughter Rebekah Goshien's birthday, which took place on December 10, she was able to give her a big hug. Goshien said, "I was the first one who got to go see her, so that was a good birthday present for me." The mother, who was confused at first after being bedridden for so long, was moved to a rehabilitation room where she could build up her strength. Now, she is allowed to have at least one visitor a day so Withem's sisters take turns visiting her.
As #COVID19 vaccines get approved by national authorities, learn about National and WHO approval processes for vaccines and how safety is ensured during emergency approval of vaccines.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) December 19, 2020
Dr @mariangelasimao explains in #ScienceIn5 ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/AL6zVXNp0u
Goshien, who saw her on Friday, shared that her mom had stood up five times during her therapy session. This is a big improvement from her earlier sessions. The COVID survivor is now pushing herself around in a wheelchair so as to improve her arm strength. She is also playing bingo in therapy so she can practice moving her elbows, building her endurance sitting up as well. In addition to this, Withem can already do word search puzzles and even use her phone. Her daughter shared, "My family has seen a miracle and it's just all the glory and everything to God." The family has since set up a GoFundMe account to help Withem pay her medical bills. If you would like to make a contribution, you can click here.