MCSHERRYSTOWN, Pa. — An Adams County woman who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 for nine months returned home to a surprise welcome from friends and family.
Julie Brown, of McSherrystown, came home in a limo. When it turned the corner to her house, she was greeted with cheers and dozens of handmade signs.
“I will be forever thankful to God for giving me this opportunity in life,” Brown said on being able to return home for Thanksgiving. “He wants me to do something. I’m going to find out what it is and do it.”
Brown contracted COVID-19 in February 2020. At the time, she and her family weren’t too concerned.
“It was COVID, you know, no big deal,” said Andy Smith, one of Brown’s five siblings.
“She didn’t have any underlying conditions,” said Ed Smith, another brother.
But her health quickly began to go downhill. She was hospitalized within a week, eventually put on a ventilator for 225 days and an ECMO machine. Over nine months, she transferred between five hospitals.
Another family member also suffered from serious COVID, eventually losing her battle.
“Our mother also had COVID. She lasted about three weeks and then it took her,” Andy said.
Julie, though, was determined to keep fighting.
“You have to have hope. You have to be positive. Because if you’re negative, so many people didn’t make it because they were negative and they gave up,” she said.
Her recovery isn’t over, as she still needs oxygen and a wheelchair.
But Julie said she’ll have an easier home doing it at home, surrounded by loved ones.