80-Year-Old Battles Broken Hip, Surgeries, and Covid-19 With Indomitable Sense of Humor

August 3, 2020 Updated: August 3, 2020

Eighty-year-old New Yorker Judith Hunt went to the hospital on Jan. 31 after falling and breaking a femur and hip.

She left Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in early July—after battling an aneurysm, sepsis, abdominal and heart surgeries, and Covid-19, she and her doctors told CNN.

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80-year-old New Yorker Judith Hunt. (Courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System)

“It was hysterically funny, in a way,” Hunt said of the experience. “It was like every time I turned around, something new came up. That’s why I started laughing at it. Because it was like, when do we get leprosy? When is the rain of frogs?”

Hunt tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, in March, according to Dr. Gabriele DiLuozzo, director of aortic surgery for the hospital. At one point, Hunt was intubated and put on a respirator. She was also initially given doses of hydroxychloroquine, which worsened her heart condition and led to a heart attack, Dr. DiLuozzo said.

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(Courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System)

After “enormous collaboration” between multiple teams of physicians, physical therapists, and other health care workers, Hunt was able to walk out of the hospital on her own. However, Dr. DiLuozzo credits her “remarkable recovery” at least in part to her spirit and attitude toward life.

“I spoke with the nurses,” Dr. DiLuozzo said. “I said if there was a way I could extract her genes, I would try somehow to put them in my bloodstream because this woman is indestructible.”

Hunt said she realized early on that her chances were “not good.” She decided to accept her possible death with her indomitable sense of humor.

“Hell, at one point I died for two minutes,” Hunt said. “And did I get the white light? No. It’s like getting your tonsils out, and no ice cream or jello.”

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80-year-old New Yorker Judith Hunt left Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in early July. (Courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System)

Hunt can talk at length about the “magnificent” doctors, nurses, aides, and room cleaners who took care of her.

“They gave me such hope for the human race that people like them existed,” Hunt said.

Dr. Malcolm Reid, chair of rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West, oversaw her physical recovery. “Many patients just wouldn’t have had the mental fortitude to stay the course,” Dr. Reid said. “Just to be in the hospital that long is draining.”

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(Illustration – Rido/Shutterstock)

As for what’s next, this August, Hunt, and two friends will be renting a room on Long Island’s East Hampton. “I have no idea what’s next,” Hunt said. “All I know is there’s a next.”

The CNN Wire and Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.