Woman, 24, Who Beat COVID-19 After 79 Days in the Hospital Says She Regrets Not Wearing a Mask

BY Wire Service TIMEJuly 20, 2020 PRINT

A 24-year-old Texas woman who spent nearly three months in a hospital fighting Covid-19 says she wishes she had listened to the advice of officials and experts and worn a mask.

Paola Castillo was discharged from Medical City North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills on July 15 after 79 days, according to a news release from the hospital.

Castillo went to the emergency room on April 27 with difficulty breathing, a cough, and a fever.

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(Courtesy of Medical City North Hills)

The hospital said she had been exhibiting symptoms for six days prior to going to the ER and that she was placed on a ventilator during her first 24 hours there.

She then spent over a month in the intensive care unit and on the ventilator, according to the hospital. Her husband and mother were told her condition was “touch and go” during that time, the hospital said.

After being weaned off the ventilator, Castillo had to undergo rehabilitation because her abilities to walk, talk, and swallow had atrophied, the release added. She was able to go outside for the first time 67 days after her admission and took her first steps on July 3.

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A health care worker talks to a patient in the ER at Oakbend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas, on July 15, 2020. (MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

“What the care team has done for even this one patient is a mark of a life well lived and a purpose served,” Andrea Morian, director of rehabilitation services at Medical City North Hills, said in the release. “This is a single patient. The impact our teams have on so many more right now is overwhelming.”

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(Screenshot/Google Maps)

Castillo told CNN affiliate KTVT that she never thought she’d get the virus.

“Maybe if I would have just listened and worn a mask, just a simple thing, I would have avoided all this,” she told KTVT. “I work at a bank, I’m always around people, but I was like, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ Never did I think I’d catch it.”

The hospital said Castillo is now negative for Covid-19 and will continue her recovery at home.

CNN’s Chuck Johnston and Haley Brink contributed to this report.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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