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73-year-old COVID-19 survivor shares her story

Posted at 9:56 PM, May 17, 2020

SUFFOLK, Va. - Each step Betty Sinclair takes, is an inspiring victory.

“When I found out I was too weak to walk, that presented another challenge but I`m up for it,” Sinclair said.

At 73-years-old, Sinclair is a COVID-19 survivor.

“You just have to stay strong and keep fighting,” she said.

Sinclair was fighting for her life.

Sinclair’s daughter, Angela Barnes brought her to the ER on March 29 after she initially thought she had bronchitis that kept getting worse. Sinclair was then told she had double pneumonia and was then diagnosed with COVID.

Three days after Sinclair was admitted to Sentara Obici Hospital, her condition worsened.

Doctors put Sinclair in a medically induced coma. She spent the next 2 1/2 weeks on a ventilator.

“They had told my brother and I there was nothing else they could do, and it was up to her and God,” Barnes said. “I’ll never forget it.”

With hospital visitors not allowed inside, Barnes had to rely on nurses and using skype to sing to her mother and play her favorite music.

“I’m emotional talking about it because just not being able to hear her voice is one thing, knowing how sick she was, but not being able to see her, hold her hand, letting her know she’s not alone, it was extremely difficult,” said Barnes.

Sinclair’s family never gave up hope and one day her condition turned a corner.

“My mom had her eyes open,” laughed Barnes. “We just cried. That time was tears of joy. It was just, God carried her.”

Sunday, after 49 days in the hospital Sinclair’s bags are packed. She was given the all clear by doctors to go home.

Sinclair is leaving no longer as a patient but as a survivor.

“Just keep your hopes up and just try your very best,” Sinclair said. “It`s not going to easy but just try.”

Sinclair said she’s gaining more and more strength every day and is thankful to be able to go home, but her long journey to recovery isn’t over yet. She'll now be going to rehab working to get even stronger.