INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A nurse who battled a severe case of the coronavirus and won is sharing a message of hope and encouragement.
Registered nurse Cathy Apple spent almost 50 days in rehab. She knew going home would be special, but family, friends, coworkers and caretakers made it that much more special.
Apple walked out of Community Rehabilitation Hospital to cheers, applause, flowers and homemade posters.
“I have so much support, it's unbelievable,” she said. “It has been wonderful. Everybody has been praying and that's why I am here today.”
Her grandchildren made welcome home posters, others made "Love" posters and one family member called her a "miracle" on another poster. Apple is used to taking care of others, but she tested positive for COVID-19 53 days ago. Even the Rehab Hospital's chief executive officer joined in on the going home celebration.
“For me to see them walk out, it just reminds you of everything people can accomplish over time and what rehab does for people," said Annette Seabrook.
Seabrook said the hospital's staff is dedicated to making sure patients get what they need while in rehab and the victories like Apple's are encouraging. She is not surprised about Apple offering encouragement to other rehab patients, especially those fighting a battle against COVID-19.
“Those who are fighting it, it's awful, but you can get through it," Apple said.
On May 7, during this year's National Nurses Week, paramedics transported Apple to the rehab hospital. She had already spent 27 days on a ventilator, required a tracheostomy and a feeding tube. Since one day she was feeling fine and the seemingly the next day she was in the hospital, Apple wants people not to take the coronavirus lightly.
“Take it seriously,” she said. “You don't know whether it's going to be mild like the flu or if it will kill you."
“Wash your hands,” Seabrook said. “Please wear your mask, practice social distancing and the right sanitation to protect those around you."
Both Seabrook and Apple say they're issuing their warnings so you and your family member don't end up in the same situation.