Jacksonville woman says she was ‘right there at death with COVID’

Latonya Harris spent 23 days in hospital, 4 of which were in medically induced coma

A Jacksonville woman is sharing her story of recovery from the coronavirus, telling News4Jax she struggled to talk and walk after a 23-day hospital stay.

With cases of the virus on the rise, Latonya Harris is encouraging people who are battling the disease to keep fighting.

“God can turn it around and he is still working miracles because I am a miracle,” Harris said.

During her extensive stay in the hospital, four of them were in a medically induced coma.

“I was one of the patients that was right there at death with COVID,” Harris said.

She said it began with her son who began feeling sick in July. He got better, but Harris grew weak.

“I don’t remember getting as sick as I was,” Harris said. “I just remembered waking up and I had all these tubes all over me. Every time I swallowed it felt like I was swallowing a piece of plastic.”

Her condition worsened, and it was left up to her husband to decide the next steps.

“They told my husband that if we put her in a medically induced coma this would give her the ability to rest and we will fight for her,” Harris said.

She’s grateful for the medical team at UF Health.

Though Harris was stronger, it was a challenge to speak and walk after leaving the hospital. It wasn’t until September that she got the strength back in her legs to move on her own.

She said seeing COVID-19 cases as high as they are today worries her.

“It’s very scary to know that it could get worse, that we may not have seen the worst of COVID,” Harris said.

But she said she hopes her life-changing experience will be an inspiration to those battling the virus.

Latonya Harris

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