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She's a fighter! 73-year-old COVID-19 survivor gets triumphant send-off from hospital

Betty Sinclair.jpeg
73-year-old COVID-19 survivor shares her story
Posted at 6:34 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 18:34:32-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - She's a fighter!

Over the weekend, News 3 reporter Antoinette DelBel brought you the story of Betty Sinclair, a 73-year-old Chesapeake woman who beat the coronavirus after fighting for her life.

On Monday, Sinclair was released from Sentara Obici Hospital, where staff gave her a triumphant send-off to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

Sinclair's daughter, Angela Barnes, told News 3 she brought her mother 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 before being diagnosed with COVID-19.

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

Doctors put Sinclair in a medically-induced coma. She spent the next two and a half 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.”

After 49 days in the hospital, doctors gave Sinclair the all-clear to go home.

She left Sentara Obici not as a patient, but a survivor.

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

Sinclair said she’s gaining more and more strength every day and will now be going to rehab working to get even stronger.

Video courtesy of Sentara Obici Hospital

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