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LORAIN, Ohio (WJW)– A 69-year-old Lorain woman says it was the “grace of God” and the medical staff at the Cleveland Clinic Avon  Hospital that helped her survive COVID-19.

“I almost lost my life,” Cookie Villarreal told Fox 8 Friday. “I at first thought I just had a sinus infection, that’s how I felt. It got worse.”

Villarreal said she didn’t have a cough, but she was extremely tired.

“I was just exhausted,” Villarreal explained. “One day I woke up, I had a fever, and the next day it was just getting worse.”

About three days later, her husband Joe tells us his wife of more than 40 years could not get out of bed.

“I called the doctor and I took her to the Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital,” Joe explained. “Once we got there they told me I had to go home.  She was admitted and taken to ICU.”

Cookie says she doesn’t remember getting in the car, or going to the hospital.

Not long after arriving at the hospital, Cookie started having trouble breathing and was placed on a ventilator.

“It was tough for me because I couldn’t be with her,” Joe said. “I was home pacing the floors,  and was very worried. We were all praying for her.”

Cookie says the prayers worked. On April 2, she was taken off the ventilator and transferred to an isolated room.  She was released April 6.

“I was finally able to see my family on FaceTime,” Cookie said.  “I had not seen them for 11 days.”

She added she will never forget the wonderful medical staff that took care of her.

“That ICU team is incredible,” Cookie noted. “I couldn’t have my family with me, they were my family. I will never forget them.”