Chicago COVID-19 survivor spent 6 weeks in coma, was brought back to life 3 times

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Friday, August 21, 2020
Chicago woman cheats death, surviving COVID-19 after 6 weeks in coma
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Barbara Sapstein's family say it's a miracle she's still alive, surviving a bout of severe COVID-19 that left her in a coma for six weeks.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Barbara Sapstein's family says it's a miracle she is even still here.

Sapstein contracted COVID-19 in March and spent six weeks in a coma. Her heart stopped; three times she was technically dead and three times she was brought back to life.

"I was coughing and my husband said, that's it, and I went to the hospital, and after that I don't remember another thing," she said.

A prominent realtor in River North, Sapsetin is happy to be back on the job now. She said she still suffers from some hearing loss, and the virus has also affected her eyesight and caused her to lose hair.

But now that she's recovered she plans to donate plasma to help other COVID-19 patients.

"All I know is I went from bad to way worse. And I'm so grateful to be here. It's like a second lease on life," she said.

Sapstein said she's also grateful to doctors and Northwestern Medical Center, which has also treated Brian Kuhns, who has been hospitalized for five months is believed to be the longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient in the country.

"So many times I was told he wasn't going to make it. I just believed and have been giving him confidence," said his wife Nancy.

It's still a mystery to doctors why COVID-19 attacks some otherwise healthy people more severely than others. Sapstein's mother is currently hospitalized with the virus also. She said she still has no idea how or where either of them got it.

"I would never in a million years think this is something I could contract," said Sapstein.

She said if there is one message she wants to spread it's that the virus is very real, and everyone should wear a mask.