CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago mother who spent more than a week in a coma due to COVID-19 has been released from the hospital.
On Saturday, the family of 60-year-old Norma Ruiz cheered as the COVID-19 survivor got to leave AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago for the first time in over a month.
"We're blessed. We're happy. It's a great moment. We've been without her for 34 days now, so this is like a miracle," said Ruiz's daughter, Cecelia.
Relatives said the Chicago-area senior, who works part time while caring for her elderly mother-in-law, started feeling ill the weekend of March 13.
She went to see a doctor and even visited the ER, but she was sent home both times with medicine.
Finally, almost unable to breathe, she was rushed to the hospital, where she eventually tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the ICU.
"It was an emotional moment, just watching her lay there with tubes and a ventilator and just laying there helpless," Cecelia Ruiz said.
Ruiz was on a ventilator for eight days when her family said doctors didn't give them much hope.
The family said they turned to their faith and prayed, which is when Cecelia Ruiz said their miracle happened and her mother started getting better.
"The doctors were like, 'You are a miracle, Norma. You are a miracle,' like 'God has a plan for you,'" Cecelia Ruiz said.
On Saturday evening, relatives and neighbors celebrated Ruiz's homecoming with a car parade as she expressed gratitude for life and her family.
"Thank you for everything. God is good," she said.
Cecelia Ruiz said her mother will continue to recover at home and wishes her mother's recovery can provide a moment of hope - at a time when it's needed the most.
That hope is much needed after state officials reported 2,119 new COVID-19 cases Saturday.
To date, 1,874 people in Illinois have lost their lives to COVID-19.
Surviving coronavirus: Chicago mother released from hospital after more than a month of COVID-19 treatment