Woman Who Was Pronounced Brain Dead Leaves Rehab

A North Carolina woman who survived COVID-19 walked out of her rehabilitation center on Tuesday, months after doctors had pronounced her brain dead.

Tionna Hairston and her mother, Stacey Peatross, were diagnosed with COVID-19 in May. Hairston wasn't showing many symptoms, so she was taking care of her mom. However as time went on, Hairston began to get worse.

According to Dr. James Mclean, medical director at Novant Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Winston-Salem, Hairston faced a multitude of serious ailments such as strokes and a heart attack. She even had a defibrillator implanted. When she stopped breathing for 30 minutes in June, doctors pronounced her brain dead.

"They thought that we should take her off of life support because she had no hope for life," Peatross told Fox 8. "They thought she would be a vegetable. She wouldn't have any quality of life at all."

After many people prayed for her recovery, Hairston surprised everyone. She got better. She ended up in a rehabilitation center for over a month, relearning basics like how to eat, dress, and stand. On Tuesday, October 20, she walked out of rehab to cheers from family, friends, and medical staff, according to Fox 8.

Seeing Hairston get out of her wheelchair and begin walking was emotional for all who witnessed it, including Hairston, who said her faith is what got her to that moment. Surrounded by loved ones and her supporters, she was grateful.

"Thank you guys for being there for me and supporting me," Hairston said. She is now at home and will continue her rehabilitation there.

Photo: Getty Images