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CarolinaEast celebrates success of COVID patient

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:53 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - An eastern Carolina woman who nurses thought would not survive her battle with the Delta variant of COVID, says she hopes her story of survival will help the community realize how serious the coronavirus is.

Cindy Buck has been in an intensive care unit at CarolinaEast for the past 40 days.

Buck says, “September fourth I was brought here by ambulance and that’s the last thing I remember until 10 days ago.”

During that time she had to endure the fight of her life in a fight for her life.

ICU physician Dr. Patty Ohrum-Bergmueller says, “I mean we literally called the family in at one point and said we don’t think she’s going to survive and had them come in.”

Buck’s survival also signifies something much larger for those who kept her alive.

Dr. Ohrum-Bergmueller says, This is emotional and a glorious day. We were able to have one of our patients accepted into acute rehabilitation. She is from our ICU. She is our first survivor from the Delta wave of COVID.”

Buck gives all of the credit to those men and women who cared for her in the ICU for why she’s still alive. “I’m grateful for these nurses. They were my family during the most difficult part, they thought they had lost me, they really had so I’m just grateful for everything and everybody that’s been a part of this journey.”

But she did have another person looking out for her. Buck says, “I have a little grandson that sang to me, you are my sunshine and every time they played it to me, they said they could see my heart rate. They knew I could hear him and I could. He really rounded the corner for me.”

On Thursday Buck was finally healthy enough to leave the ICU and is now in rehabilitation where she’ll have a long road of learning how to swallow again and breathe on her own, so the hospital marked the day in extravagant fashion with a celebration for her.

Dr. Ohrum-Bergmueller says, “I needed this. I’ve really been struggling this go around and I really, really needed this. Sorry. We all needed it.”

As Buck settles into her new home for a while, her room in ICU is being cleaned and prepped for the next patient, and as the celebrations winded down the health care heroes got back to work but the load, for now, is a little lighter.

Dr. Ohrum-Bergmueller says, “This was huge. Our hearts have been so heavy.”

Buck says her message to the community is to protect yourself from this virus. She was unvaccinated. Now that she’s come back from the brink of death she wants to keep others from going through what she went through.

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