Bethany woman dealing with physical, financial effects of COVID-19 after 77-day hospital stay

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BETHANY, Okla. (KFOR) – A local family is sharing the physical and financial toll COVID-19 has left them with after a loved one’s 77-day hospital stay with the virus.

The grandmother was left with heart, lung and vocal cord damage and $700 worth of monthly prescriptions on top of hospital bills.

“Our family fought really hard to make sure we had her back home and we were one of the lucky ones,” said Michelle Bouziden.

Bouziden is counting her blessings while sitting next to her mom Peggy Escritt.

For nearly 80 days, it was a luxury she’d do anything to have.

“We did video calls where my dad and I could camera into the ICU to just kind of see her and talk to her but she was completely sedated,” Bouziden said. 

The family said they were always careful but Peggy’s husband still caught the virus from a co-worker.

Her COVID-19 test result took 10 days to come back.

“But by the time it did, she was already in the ICU with the ventilators,” said Bouziden.

In the hospital, she was given two rounds of convalescent plasma.

Michelle credits it and the doctors at Mercy who saved her mother’s life.

Eventually, she was taken off the ventilator and came home with a trach to a new life.

“I’ve lost my strength in my right side,” said Escritt. “My vocal cord is paralyzed.”

She has heart and lung damage and is now on a number of costly new medications and undergoing treatments.

The family doesn’t know how they’ll afford it.

“But you would pay anything to have your mom come home,” said Bouziden.

While she does have diabetes and asthma, Peggy’s family says her underlying conditions don’t mean she should have to suffer.

“It’s really hard when people don’t take this seriously,” Bouziden said. “It’s being selfless and we could all use a little bit of that.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses.

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