Robyn West is recovering in her Massachusetts home after spending five weeks in the hospital, most of which she spent in a coma. The Mattapan mother of 11 was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April.
“I was very scared,” West said. “As soon as I got in the ICU, I was very scared.”
West recalled the day she was admitted to the hospital and doctors told her she had the novel coronavirus, saying, “I needed to call my daughter before I went into that coma and I told her I’m going to die."
The 57-year-old had to be placed in a coma when she was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton.
It all began in April when West first noticed that she had a tough time breathing. Her son had been diagnosed with the virus first.
Doctors then discovered blood clots in her lungs.
“I really didn’t have any strength or energy to go reach for the phone but I see it was my mother and I just reached in and clicked it and I’m like, 'hello,' she said, 'I want you to fight. I want you to call the ambulance back,'” West recalled.
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She spent five weeks in two different hospitals. Nearly four of those weeks were spent in a coma. She woke up at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in May.
“It was quite serious,” said Bryar Hasenjaeger, a nurse at BIDMC. “The patients we saw were very, very sick.”
Hasenjaeger was one of the nurses that took care of West.
“Robyn is, she’s like a miracle,” said Hasenjaeger. “She ended up doing fabulous but it could have easily gone the other way.”
West said her faith and family helped to get her through. As soon as she came out of the coma, nurses helped her connect with her daughter.
“She looked up and sees me and says, ‘oh mommy!’ That just melted my heart,” West recalled. “We were crying. The nurse was overwhelmed.”
West now has a message for others about the virus.
“Don’t play with it,” she said. “It’s very dangerous, especially in my community, in the Black community where it seems to be getting us more. We have to do better with wearing masks. This is not gone away. This is not going away.”
West is doing physical therapy at home as she works to get back to full strength.
She said doctors and nurses saved her life and it’s something she won’t ever forget.