One year ago, Brenda Harrison of Johnstown was lying in a hospital bed with COVID-19.
Now, one year later, she’s home living out her “new normal.”
“It’s only been a year, and I look back and think of everything that I went though,” Brenda said.
It all started in December of 2020.
Brenda and her sister, Denise, became very sick.
Brenda’s oxygen saturation was 57% at the time.
She reached out to her son’s girlfriend, Alicia who is a registered nurse for advice, telling her to go to the hospital.
“Alicia is my angel. I would’ve gone to bed that night without reaching out to her, and her intervening, I may not have woke up the next morning,” Brenda said.
Brenda spent the next few months in the ICU, on a ventilator, and in a coma.
“Why I survived, I don’t know. But I’m trying to make the best of every single day,”
Unfortunately, the virus got the best of her sister, Denise.
She passed away from COVID-19 on January 2nd, 2021.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her, wish she was here, and miss her in our life,”
In addition to grief, Brenda still feels the symptoms of COVID-19 to this day.
She’s what health experts are calling a “long hauler.”
Brenda now lives her life at 60% lung capacity, dropping heart rates, shortness of breath, cough, and fatigue.
Her daughter, Lyndsay Hollern, said it’s been extremely difficult to see her mom go through this.
“She’s not the old mom I can tell you that. But that’s okay, because she’s still here. We can still do things. We just have to take it a little slower,”
Lyndsay says praying got her through it.
She prayed outside of Conemaugh Memorial every night back when her loved ones were sick.
“It meant a lot for everybody I think at the time
“Even if it was freezing cold outside, we were still going just because it helped them, and it helped the nurses,”
One year later, Brenda and Lyndsay are keeping their family near and dear to their hearts.
Brenda got a tattoo with Denise’s name on it.
“Everyone said, did it hurt? My response to that was, it didn’t hurt like the pain she went through when she was suffering,” Brenda said.
Lyndsay got the quote “love you more” in her mom’s handwriting on her arm.
“We love it, and it means so much to us,” she told 6 News.
Lyndsay now calls Brenda her “miracle mom.”
“I don’t know what I would do without her,”