Patient wakes up before life support is turned off – and family bought headstone

A woman who was on a ventilator after contracting Covid-19 miraculously woke up on the day her life support machine was due to be switched off – and her family had already chosen a headstone for her.

Bettina Lerman, from Maine in the US, hadn't responded to doctors' efforts to wake her from a coma, prompting her family to make the difficult decision to take her off life support.

But after they'd already made her funeral arrangements and even picked out a coffin as they prepared to say goodbye, Bettina, 69, woke up – much to the shock of everyone.

Her son, Andrew Lerman, told local media he got a call from one of his mother's doctors at the Maine Medical Center in Portland on October 29.

He said: "He's like, 'Well, I need you to come here right away.' I was like, 'OK, what's wrong?

"He goes, 'Well, there's nothing wrong. Your mother woke up.'"

Andrew said his mother had a number of health conditions, including diabetes, and had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery a couple of years ago.

She began showing symptoms of coronavirus in early September and was diagnosed on September 12 when she went into hospital.

She was not vaccinated but had been planning to get her jab when she became ill, he said.

Her condition soon deteriorated, and doctors told the family she wasn't expected to recover.

He continued: "We had a family meeting with the hospital because my mother wasn't waking up. No matter what they (did), they couldn't get her to wake up.

"They said that her lungs are completely destroyed. There's irreversible damage – that it's just not going to happen."

A hospital spokesperson told CNN that Bettina remains in a "serious condition".

Mr Lerman said his mother didn't suffer any organ failure and no one really understands how she's doing so well.

He said she is able to move her hands and arms and can breathe on her own for a few hours at a time with some oxygen support, instead of the ventilator.

She is also undergoing physical therapy to rebuild her muscle strength.

Lerman said his mother told him she was praying while she was in the coma and remembers people visiting and talking to her.

"She's a miracle," he said.

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