To become a patient in the hospital that you have served for over 40 years, a dismal sight that COVID-19 managed to create at St. Mary Medical Center. BUT the veteran ICU nurse fought the infection and HOW! Her 8-month-long near-death battle with COVID-19 is no less than a miracle. She survived all odds after almost losing her life and even being considered for end-of-life options. The woman who has cared for the most critically ill patients at her hospital in Long Beach, California, Merlin Pambuan was on the patient bed fighting COVID-19 and other issues associated with the infection.

Prambanan was admitted last spring to the intensive care unit of St. Mary Medical Center that has been her workplace for the past 40 years. She was rendered unconscious by paralysis-inducing sedation and placed on a ventilator to breathe. According to reports she had her close shaves from death because on several occasions it seemed like she wouldn't make it. Her condition deteriorated and at one point end-of-life options were discussed with her family. An Indomitable Spirit: Story of a 25-Year-Old Who Defeated COVID-19 Despite an End-Stage Renal Failure and Underwent a Successful Kidney Transplantation.

However, she fought coronavirus back and as she awoke and could breathe on her own. Even though she was too weak to stand, she was out of danger after weeks of painful therapy to regain her strength and mobility. She recently celebrated her 66th birthday in St. Mary's acute rehabilitation ward. On Monday Pambuan defeated all odds and walked out of the hospital accompanied with cheers & applause.  "This is my second life," Pambuan believes after the dreadful 8-months-long journey at the hospital before insisting on making her exit from the without the assistance of a wheelchair or walker.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 24, 2020 11:36 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website